Most people remember the class clown from school. Sure he was disruptive, and at times annoying, but mostly he was just funny. He brought a good mood to an otherwise boring and tedious class. It's even possible that some of you may have been that class clown.
Unfortunately, mature circumstances relegate most clowning around to adolescence. Well, I am advocating for the use of clowning and humor in the workplace. Fun and humor do not have to supplant productivity and gravitas. In fact, I am a firm believer that contrarily, humor will help an office be more productive and capable. Here are 5 examples.
1. Laughter builds morale.
An office with no laughter and humor seems dark and dreary. People don't thrive in a deeply serious environment. Help people find the humor in daily situations and watch how they pick up their mood and the mood of others. Help them leave the day with a smile on their face for all to see.
2. Laughter releases stress.
Laughter is a physical release that allows you to loosen your body. If people are overworked, take a 5-minute joke break in the middle of the day and get people to lighten up.
3. Laughter breaks tension.
If people are barking and at each others' throats, Help them find the human and humorous aspects of the conflict. Trust me, there are always funny aspects to any human situation. Especially when there is conflict. Communal laughter can get conflicting parties to take it down a notch.
4. Laughter creates bonding.
Humorous incidents are the stories that people tell over and over again. They become the lore of the company culture. Encourage an atmosphere where people are comfortable enough to laugh at themselves. You don't need to encourage ridicule. Simply emphasize the humanity and the fun.
5. Laughter makes things memorable.
The unexpected twist of a joke punch line triggers a memorable aha moment. The laughter then releases endorphins, which help lock a funny moment in the brain. Want to make sure your colleagues remember something important? Simply joke about it.