A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of John, one of the older workmen. After several minutes, John had enough.
"Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" he said. "I will bet a week's wages that I can haul something in a wheelbarrow over to that outbuilding that you won't be able to wheel back."
"You're on, old man," the braggart replied. "It's a bet! Let's see what you got."
Morris reached out and grabbed the wheelbarrow by the handles. Then, nodding to the young man, he said, "All right. Get in."
Sure, everyone enjoys a good laugh but is the workplace an appropriate place for humor? Why should corporations bring humor into the workplace? Working should be taken seriously. After all, deadlines must be met, sales have to be pitched, and reports written. With so much to accomplish during the work week (especially when one considers that layoffs have left many companies short-staffed) won't bringing humor into the workplace prove detrimental to productivity?
Contrarily, introducing humor into the workplace boasts many social benefits such as strengthening employee relationships, fostering better teamwork, boosting employee morale, and increasing creativity. Humor in the workplace can actually increase a company's productivity and make employees more satisfied and a satisfied employee will work harder and longer than one who is unhappy.
Studies prove time and again that employees who feel "emotionally bonded" work better together as a team. The use of humor in the workplace will increase employee bonding. People who laugh together will work together more effectively. An important goal of many companies is to create the feeling among employees that the company is a team and each employee an integral part, working together towards a common goal. Studies prove that laughing together fosters strong bonds between people. With corporations becoming increasingly diverse (think international and national employees with diverse cultural and religious backgrounds) laughter just may be the most effective tool in overcoming differences and forging the bonds that will benefit the company.
Humor will increase employees' creativity. In today's changing world, an employee who can "think outside the box" is a great asset to any corporation. Humor has been proven to foster creativity. Employees who use humor or are exposed to humor develop better problem solving skills, work more effectively, and are more productive.
Laughing in the workplace could decrease employee absences. Certainly everyone has heard the adage that laughter is the best medicine. Scientists and doctors are increasingly proving this to be true. Humor in the workplace will strengthen employees' immune systems. People who laugh are less likely to develop a cold and when "laughing" people DO become ill, the duration of the illness is much shorter than in a humorless person. Laughing can also increase employees' energy levels, leading to a more-fast paced working environment that is ultimately more productive.
So corporations, let you employees laugh. Better yet, make them laugh. Tell jokes, post funny items, hire a professional entertainer for corporate events. Keep your employees laughing, and your company will benefit.