The Benefits of Laughing in the Office
As a kid, when you imagine getting a job and going to work every day, you have a serious picture in your head, probably you being dress formally and wearing a business case with you, rushing to your office where other people have dressed accordingly and act in a completely professional way.
This is the picture most people have until they actually step into the business world and discover the variety of organizational cultures and realize that the picture they have had in their minds comes mostly from the movies they’ve seen, but also stays in the movies and usually has nothing to do with reality.
Nowadays, most companies are trying to be as open as possible to employees and nurture the culture where everybody feels comfortable enough to share their opinion but also share their laugh.
Often you can hear that the laughter is the best medicine, and actually, it has been proven.
This doesn’t stop being the truth the moment you step into your office.
More and more companies are embracing the fact that laughing in the office is actually contributing the company in many ways, and completely transforming organizational culture in order to empower people to laugh more.
If you are looking for an explanation to this phenomenon or you are in a search for a way to implement this ideology in your company, you are looking at the right place.
We’ll cover all the benefits of laughing in the office, as well as some useful tips to help everybody in the company laugh more.
WHY THEY SAY LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE
You’ve probably heard this many times before, even as you were a kid.
You might recall complaining about a headache or a stomachache you had (sure, it was better to stop when you had enough, but who can tell how many cupcakes are enough) and the response you got from your mum or grandma was “go and do something fun, don’t think about it”.
You are aware now that this was coming from with the best intention, and that all your family wanted was for you to have a good laugh and relieve the pain, as it causes the release of endorphins, which are also known as “body’s natural feel-good chemicals”.
It has been scientifically proven that laughter can actually improve your health. It triggers physical and emotional changes in people, leading to multiple benefits.
For instance, laughter strengthens the immune system and also protects the body from consequences from stress that can harm people for life.
When talking about stress relief, the laughter is positioned as number one.
Not only that it relaxes entire body (leaving muscles relieved for the next 45 minutes), but it also boosts the mood which helps us feel better in any way.
For those who are actually looking for a way to improve their health, laughing can be the way.
Among other things, laughter benefits your heart condition by increasing blood flow and therefore protecting you from having a heart attack.
Also, laughing is very good for your physical condition, as it burns calories, which not only helps you look better but also impacts your health in general.
As children, we used to laugh each day and we didn’t need any specific reason for that, but now in adulthood, we take things quite seriously and often forget to laugh at small enjoyable things life gives us, leaving them for the later.
Therefore, it is up to us to start looking for opportunities to laugh and not forgetting to enjoy them, as no matter how serious life is, laughter can only improve it.
7 REASONS TO START LAUGHING IN THE OFFICE
By now you probably have realized how beneficial laughter can be, but still, you might have doubts how can it be applied to your work.
Here’s how laughing helps people in your company, but also your company to progress and prosper.
1. Leading with laughter
This one goes to all the bosses around. Everything starts from the top, including the laughter.
There are many studies that show how the fact that the leader or a boss is open enough to laugh around the office with his or her employees influences everyone else to be more open and ready to laugh, too.
This breeds a healthy organizational culture where everybody feels comfortable and finds joy in work, thus resulting in a better outcome of the work.
It takes courage from bosses to be more connected to their employees and show this side of them.
Many fear that they will appear as unprofessional or risk their authority, but this doesn’t have to be the case at all.
On the contrary, leaders who show that can do the both – be the expert in what they do, but also have good time gain much more respect than those who only show their professional side.
Embrace the concept of leading with laughter and watch how it influences the people you lead.
2. Making your employees feel good
This is very important, as the one important quote says – “if the flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment, not the flower”. And this refers pretty much to the work environment.
Have you ever considered how your employees feel, and how their satisfaction contributes to the goals of the company?
It has been proven that employees who are more satisfied with their work also end up being more productive and contribute to the company realizing their maximum potential.
If you look from this perspective, enabling your employees to feel good should be your number one priority.
And one simple thing you can start with and always do is make them laugh.
This way you show them that you care about them, so they feel more accountable and take more care themselves when it comes to the company and completing their tasks.
3. Showing your colleagues you trust them
Why we sometimes refrain ourselves from laughing at the work comes with our connecting of laughter to people who are close in our lives – family members or good friends.
We might find it inappropriate to start laughing at the workplace or making a joke with our colleagues, which can result in a strictly formal environment where employees have a hard time to feel connected.
On the other hand, making jokes openly and sharing a good laugh shows people you trust them and you have no fear of being misunderstood or judged because of it.
This encourages others to behave the same way, because who would mind a good laugh.
By sharing laughs, we show that we trust people around us and enjoy spending time with them, which can really help employees feel better and therefore improve their performance.
4. Building relationships
Just imagine going to work every day and seeing your best friends.
That would be a dream come true, right? It actually can be that way, just this time you have to reverse the process and let your colleagues become your best friends.
Let us tell you a secret. This doesn’t happen by talking about the report you have to file due Monday. This happens when you start having fun and sharing a good laugh.
This can be over different things and it probably can’t happen over the night, but there are many stories of long-term friendships that came out of the office.
Think about how you can make somebody else’s day at the office by sharing a laugh, and watch how your day becomes better.
5. Building teams
If you analyze all the teambuilding activities, you will realize that they are created for people to laugh while participating.
This is due to the fact that people start connecting good memories with the team, which can be later carried forward to the work environment.
When people find themselves enjoying time spent with a certain group of people, that’s the most natural way of building the relationships.
Strong relationships build teams. Teams build results.
There is a quote I always like to refer to and it goes
“If you want to fast, go alone. If you want to go far, then go together”.
You need a good team to create extraordinary things. This refers to the companies too.
If you want to make a big change or a huge difference, you will need a well-connected team, and there is no better way to connect people than to allow them to share a good laugh.
6. Building customer relationships
Now that you know how important laughter is when it comes to trusting people and connecting with them, you can imagine how powerful it would be if you did the same with your customers.
There’s just one problem – you can’t work personally with all your customers. You need to teach your people the value of laughter.
It is not easy to change the culture completely, so you have to go step by step. Make sure you lead them by example.
Show them how good it feels to make a joke during the working time, or how confident you look while delivering it.
As mentioned previously, it can be hard to change your behavior all of a sudden and start sharing jokes at the workplace, not to mention in front of the customers.
But just imagine how relaxed would the customers feel if you appeared as someone who is an expert in the field, but also down to earth human being, willing to do good business.
It would be much easier to create and nurture customer relationships, as they will start to perceive you as “a friend” in some kind of a way.
Bear in mind, jokes are good but don’t make jokes about your customers.
Make jokes about you and your company, enabling your customers to see you in even more friendly way.
7. Improving your performance
We’ve talked a lot about other people in the company, but now it’s time to consider the most important one – you.
You are also part of some company or a startup, no matter how small or big it is. It is also equally important for you to laugh in the office, no matter of the position you hold or title that stands under your name.
If you want to start performing better and stand out amongst others – whether it’s internally or externally including other stakeholders or competition, you have to think about yourself, how you feel at the workplace and what you can do to feel better.
As mentioned previously, it is quite simple. If you don’t know where to start, start from yourself and make yourself laugh.
You don’t have to be ashamed of that or think if somebody is going to resent it to you.
They are all human beings and desire similar things, it’s just that you stood out as a leader and started the initiative.
Think about what makes you laugh and for which work environment you would say that is perfect. Then go and make it for yourself.
You have also heard many times how contagious laughing is, and you will experience it at the beginning of your quest.
Before you even realize, you will find yourself coming to work with a bigger and bigger smile and finish things with more joy.
This will reflect on your work and results, and you will definitely become noticed as the most positive person who knows their way to do outstanding things. Who would mind being perceived like that, right?
HOW TO START AND NURTURE THE LAUGHTER CULTURE
Believe it or not, as all things in the universe, the solution is quite simple. Here are some tips on how to start implementing laughter culture in your office.
1. Share with others something funny you have seen
Take some time to watch a comedy movie or a show and make sure you share it with your colleagues.
Better yet, organize a movie night with people from your company and make sure you pick a movie that will make you all laugh for a long time.
Even though it’s just a movie night, you will find yourselves laughing over and over while recapping the funniest scenes.
If you don’t have a possibility to do this, then just go ahead and find a funny video online you would like to share with your colleagues.
You can share it with them or show them directly on your phone during some break.
They will all be thankful for they will feel refreshed and ready to continue amazing work.
2. Be silly
If you are already an open and expressive person, this probably won’t be that hard for you.
Even if you feel scared, just remember that somebody needs to start.
And that somebody is you. That is why you are reading this right now.
So go ahead and act naturally, as you would act around your friends.
This doesn’t lower your expertise or make you less valued; it just shows that you are so confident in what you know that you don’t mind showing your silly side.
People will be really thankful to you the moment they start behaving themselves this way, as you were the one that showed them in the first place that this is okay and made them feel confident enough to do it.
3. Organize laughing activities
Have you ever heard of a laughing yoga?
This is a unique type of yoga that practices laughter as good for your health and wellbeing.
Why wouldn’t you find the nearest yoga center to your office and ask everybody to join you?
Or better yet, in agreement with yoga center organize free laughing yoga courses for all employees.
This shows how much you care and how far you are willing to go and invest in order for people in your company to feel good, be healthy and enjoy their work.
It also emphasizes how important you find laughing, which will subconsciously lead them to think more about laughing and encourage them to be silly in your presence.
“My dog used to chase people on a bike a lot. It got so bad; finally, I had to take his bike away.” Haha, I bet I made you laugh.
Or I didn’t, but you still laughed at my failed attempt.
You see how something so simple as this silly and short joke can influence how you feel in a moment. Imagine how big impact you could make if you practiced this every day with all the people who work with you.
Whether you are a boss looking for a way to get closer to your employees or you are an employee looking for a way to feel better at work, this is the perfect place for you to start.
And probably is the easiest solution that exists. All you have to do is laugh and encourage others to do the same.
When you take into consideration all the benefits that come from laughing – reducing stress and conflicts, improving your immune system, boosting the mood, releasing the pain, fighting mental and physical illness you can’t ignore how much of effect it has on your work.
There is just one message – laugh more so you can achieve more.