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Humor in the Workplace

Humor in the Workplace

“Humor Is Serious Business” is the title of an article that appeared last year in a Stanford Business Graduate School publication and it really hit home for me after the long tax season this year. The gist of the article is that there’s not enough humor in the workplace. It’s been statistically demonstrated that people laugh more on weekends; people laughed more before they entered the workplace.

Bringing humor to the workplace is important:

“Humor is an effective and underleveraged tool for power, offering a competitive advantage against peers, higher retention rates of employees, innovative solutions, and teams that are more resilient to stress.”

Rules for humor in the workplace

So if you’re sold on the notion of supporting humor in the workplace, be sure to get some things straight. The article says to never make an employee the butt of a joke; obviously this can lead to hurting feelings. Also avoid humor that could result in creating a hostile work environment, which may lead to claims of sexual harassment or racism against the company.

If you want to develop humor in the workplace, there’s a blog listing 10 tips for doing this.

The Stanford article also suggests that if you don’t feel like you are able to be funny, find the person in the company who is funny and encourage him or her. The article labels them “humor ambassadors.”

Workplace jokes

The following are some famous quotations I found that are humorous to me. You decide:

“If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” Will Rogers

“Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity.” Karl Marx

“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.” Indira Gandhi

“Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.” David Sarnoff, pioneer of American commercial radio and TV

“The factory of the future will have only two employees: a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” Warren G. Bennis, American scholar and author, 1925-2014

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.” Mario Andretti

“I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” Will Rogers

Final thought

If you wanted a little dose of humor each day, I recommend looking at Pepper…and Salt in the Wall Street Journal. You’ll start your day smiling.