Most people would not associate the word ‘humour’ with ‘power’.
Humour is a positive attribute that is recognised cross-culturally. It is defined as the quality of being amusing or comical, especially when expressed in literature or speech. Positive psychology research suggests that humour is a key component of a happy workplace. This is because it makes others feel good, fosters good interpersonal relationships and buffers stress. It also has benefits for everyday people and is often an overlooked tool in maintaining good mental health. For instance, it relieves physical tension in your muscles, brings feelings of comfort and authenticity, and can improve sleep quality.
Strategies to incorporate playfulness and humour into the workplace:
- Take a break that focuses on humour. During the fast pace of the workplace, we may find it difficult to disconnect from serious or mundane tasks that we are doing. Encouraging a team-building exercise where people come together and share funny YouTube clips is an important way to build team morale, share humour, and provide a much-needed break within the workplace.
- Share something about yourself on break that could be seen as humorous. For instance, maybe you witnessed something funny on the weekend? Maybe you have a similar experience that is funny? Get creative!
- Create funny, team names for groups within the organisation. A simple way to promote playfulness and humour is to allow teams within the organisation to develop a team name. These team names should be appropriate for work and agreed upon by all members.
It is also important that humour is appropriate within the workplace. All employees have different humour styles. Some employees may find something inappropriate that you might find entertaining with your friends outside of work in a different context. It is important to be respectful of this. Make sure you read the room!