Have you noticed increased absentee, tardy, and turnover rates in your office? When employees are bored and fatigued from the same daily repetition in the office, they become burned out and simply don’t want to go to work. This can make a person feel disconnected from their company, and lead to more absences and sometimes even push an employee to start looking for a more interesting and challenging job. How can you create a more stimulating work environment that will keep your employees happy and focused? Well, laughter truly is the best medicine for just about everything, even in a dull office, adding humor to the workplace is a sure-fire way to bring life back to your employees. Laughter helps people loosen up and reduces stress, which is especially beneficial in a work environment. Check out these fun facts about laughter:
- People laugh 30 times more when they are with other people.
- Laughter increases blood flow by 22 percent and stress decreases blood flow by 35 percent.
- Women laugh more than men.
- Laughter increases immune system response.
- Laughter stimulates circulation and improves respiration.
- Laughter exercises your muscles, and can burn up to 3 1/2 calories each time you laugh.
- Laughter stimulates the brain and enhances mental functions.
- Laughter can help manage pain because it activates endorphins.
- Laughter promotes social bonding, which enhances cooperation.
- Laughter is contagious.
How do all of these benefits of laughter promote a more efficient workplace? Creating an appropriately humorous environment in the office can reduce the monotony that comes along with a tedious work day. Schools give children recess so they can have fun and rejuvenate their brains, and the same thought process applies to a work environment. Humor increases a person’s productivity in many ways:
- Humor prevents boredom and fatigue. Unfortunately, the workplace is often full of mundane routines that a person follows each day. A lack of challenging, creative, exciting work leaves employees feeling bored and tired-two factors that can drastically decrease efficiency.
- Humor increases creative thinking and the willingness to help others. Creative thinking is an asset when it comes to solving problems at work. Regular humor in the workplace stimulates creative thinking, which can lead to innovative new ideas and practices. Humor also leaves people feeling happy, which increases the likelihood that they will lend a helping hand to a fellow employee.
- Humor improves communication. Great communication is necessary for an efficient workplace. Fun team activities that bring employees together for a good laugh lightens the atmosphere and promotes team work. A team of employees that is comfortable with one another communicates much better than a bunch of people who feel forced to work together.
If we think back to when we were children, we remember that while we certainly didn’t like school work, we generally thought school was a fun place to be. Why? It’s because we knew how to laugh-we could turn the most humdrum activities into slapstick comedy. It’s easy to lose this ability when we become adults, because we feel the stress associated with the necessity of achieving high performance rates in the workplace. If we just stepped back for a moment, we would realize that bringing humor into the office would actually help us achieve these high performance rates much more easily.