Today’s workplaces can be highly stressful environments, but there’s a very simple antidote- laughter. Laughter in the workplace can bring a host of both business and health benefits, with very little cost.
Years ago, laughter was something often perceived to be negative within a business, becoming synonymous with disruption and lack of focus, resulting in the adoption of a serious, fairly stern company cultures. Such cultures can significantly reduce morale, taking a toll on creativity, productivity and workplace relationships.
Good for business
Research suggests that encouraging a little laughter in the workplace helps promote a positive environment, presenting some common ground to help colleagues bond, breaking barriers regarding hierarchy and departments to build trust and enhance communication. When friendships are formed, the benefits are reaped, with a team who genuinely enjoy working together becoming far more productive and efficient.
“81% of respondents in one study said they believe a fun working environment would make them more productive.”
Humour enhances the ability to solve problems, promote divergent thinking, and improves decision making skills. Harvard Business School professor, Alison Wood Brooks states laughter also improves creativity, engagement and analytic precision, making ‘funny people’ seem more competent.
Good for the mind, body and soul
It has been said that laughter has several positive effects on the human body, including strengthening your immune system, reducing stress, muscle tension and absenteeism. Of course, this is going to improve employee’s wellbeing and significantly boost morale within the work place, at absolutely zero financial cost.
“Humour increases happiness - Humour is one of the healthiest adaptations to being happy in life.”
Humour reduces stress, as those ‘with a sense of humour’ report less stress and anxiety than those with a low sense of humour, despite experiencing the same number of problems at work.
Laughter at Hewett
When walking around the Hewett offices, you’re sure to hear plenty of giggles and laughter – we thrive on making our offices a relaxed, comfortable and friendly environment with the aim of strengthening team work, improving employee-wellbeing and encouraging productivity.
Commercial Consultant Anthony Andrews commented:
"In what can be at times a very stressful job, humour and laughter help to immediately lift spirits and improve the mood significantly. When life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten, and that’s to laugh and smile and dance and sing!"
Laura Hewett, Director at Hewett Recruitment commented:
“You spend too much time at work not to enjoy it while you’re there! I genuinely see the correlation between people having fun and success in work – positivity is infectious! Fun and laughter also helps develop relationships within the office – when people feel they have a friend at work, they tend to be happier and more loyal to the business.”
Laura is a board member of Worcestershire Works Well, an initiative promoting health and well-being in the workplace.
Our Commercial Consultant and HR Specialist Janine Winters commented:
"We tend to spend more time at work than we do at home, so it is really important for individual and organisational performance that we enjoy what we do and the environment we work in. Allowing for an environment in which to express humour and laughter is a great way for colleagues to bond, professional relationships to grow, creativity to flow and can ultimately lead to commitment and engagement in the workplace.”