Article: The role of laughter in the workplace


The role of laughter in the workplace

As we bounce back from the aftershocks of the pandemic, we must find ways to inject lightheartedness in everything we do. We can treat laughter not just as a form of entertainment, but something that is connected to our well-being.
The role of laughter in the workplace

Laughter is good for the soul, and research has shown that we could treat it as wellness, not just solely for entertainment.

Today, we are reeling from the aftershocks of a post-pandemic world. We are still rebounding from the losses and trauma we experienced within the past two years. 

But as we bounce back, we can inject laughter and lightheartedness in everything we do. This lightheartedness affects our ability to be productive and create diligently. It offsets the anxiety, stress, and negative emotions we’ve felt because of the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Hybrid working is here to stay, and it’s important that we have a good time with our colleagues as we adjust to this new setup. Laughter is important because its effect on our brain boosts our mood and our productivity.

How laughter affects our brain

Laughter can activate the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine in our brain. These two are both considered mood-boosting hormones.

In an interview with CNBC, Professor Daniel Sgroi, who teaches economics at the University of Warwick, said that laughter “fast tracks networks in the brain to help you concentrate and focus.” He said that it is similar to getting a productivity boost. However, he said the laughter has to be sincere.

Sgroi said there is some evidence that forcing yourself to laugh can release mood-boosting hormones, but they’re much less pronounced than if it’s genuine.

Sgroi co-authored a paper in 2015 studying the link between happiness and productivity. He found that using comedy to make participants laugh and be happier boosted productivity up to 12 per cent.

Someone who is happy can finish a task in 1 hour, compared to someone who is unhappy and can finish the task in 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Laughter also reduces the stress cortisol in our body, and it activates endorphins – a form of painkiller – into our system. Some studies show that laughter gives the body the same benefits as moderate exercise.

Indeed, laughing even for just a minute a day can ease pain, dampen stress, lower blood pressure, stoke your immune system, and brighten your outlook. This leads to higher job satisfaction.

Ways to add laughter into your office

  1. Make time to play games. You can play games like MadLibs or Pictionary online with your workmates to have a communal fun experience. This way, everyone can join in on the fun.

  2. Watch comedy shows or movies. You can invite your workmates to watch comedy shows live or through streaming sites. Ask your workmates what brand of comedy they enjoy.

  3. Talk to a funny friend. Chances are, there’s that one person in your office who’s really bright and funny. Make sure that they feel included in every conversation and that they can infect everyone with their positivity.

Make your well-being a priority by finding joy and laughter in your life. You can find it in the company of people you care about and who care about you.

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Topics: Culture, Life @ Work

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