Summer is upon us and frankly, we’re ready for some lightheartedness – so we’re here today to talk about laughter, and why we need to do it more at work.
We’re here to bust the myth that showing your personality or sense of humour at work will mean you’re taken less seriously. In fact, laughing at work can lead to increased productivity, analytic precision and collaboration. It can also act as a release – to ‘cool down your stress response’ and ‘increase your heart rate and blood pressure’ – in HardTalk terms, it helps you ensure Mr Spock is back in the driving seat and Homer is in the back, i.e. you are in control of your emotions and reactions. Laughter may just be the tonic to help create a healthier, more productive culture.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you pull a practical joke on your boss (a potentially career limiting move), or make an inappropriate quip about a colleague behind their back (which is never a nice thing to do). But there are times when laughter doesn’t just lift the team’s mood, it helps reduce the risk of conflict and boosts them in ways which are good for business…
“While on an investor tour in Europe, I ended a busy day by joining my boss at a nice restaurant. After he said something funny, I responded in my typical style – throwing back my head and letting out hearty, unabashed laughter. People were taken aback. They turned to stare at me.
I asked my red-faced boss whether my laughter had embarrassed him. “It is pretty loud,” he muttered under his breath.
Later that evening, I castigated myself. I lay awake, wondering how many other times my laugh might have caused discomfort in professional situations. Should I try to mute it? Should I give up my executive position and transfer back to sales, which had a more jovial atmosphere? Should I find a new job?”
Read on to learn more about the effects of laughter in Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2018/11/the-benefits-of-laughing-in-the-office