The benefits of being funny at the workplace are that humor tends to reduce stress, stimulate creativity, boost motivation, build camaraderie, promote open communication and improve customer service. Adding humor to the workplace generally keeps employees happier, which keeps company is healthy and bosses satisfied. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to be funny in the workplace.
To be funny in the workplace you’ll want to keep humor light and positive. Minor joking around with other employees, telling humorous stories about life events or making light of a bad situation are all good ways to incorporate humor into the workplace. Humor in the workplace should never involve telling jokes at the expense of others, insulting anyone at the workplace or getting very personal. When used correctly, humor in the workplace can help bring employees together. Humor helps break down walls, eliminate stereotypes and give employees a sense of unity. When everyone is laughing at the same thing, employees and managers will be reminded that they are all working together and playing for the same team.
Humor can often help coworkers get along better, but if done improperly can also forge a distance between the employees. There is a dark side to humor that should be left out of the office at all costs. Being overly sarcastic or crossing the line and taking hurtful jabs at another employee will not only hurt the other employees feelings, but may also cost you your job. You should error on the side of caution rather than take a chance and make a joke that is seen as destructive, offensive, hurtful or too personal. It is better to be seen as a person with a light sense of humor than someone who is always making jokes at other people’s expense.
It’s also important to evaluate what you laugh at in the workplace. While you may not always be the one making jokes or being humorous, you could be seen as someone it was offensive if you are laughing at someone else’s inappropriate jokes. Laughter can work against you if you are consistently laughing when jokes are made that offend others or unnecessarily poke fun at coworkers. Be careful about the jokes you laugh at work to preserve your own self-image and make sure that you are seen as a funny person and not a hurtful person.
When being funny in the workplace, you also need to consider the timing and make sure that any humor you are bringing to a situation is done tactfully. There is a time and a place to be funny in the workplace. Times when being funny is appropriate include during lunch breaks, on coffee breaks, while conversing casually with coworkers, upon entering and leaving the office. Times when being funny is not appropriate include during important meetings, while on the phone with clients, during an important conversation with a coworker or boss and while other coworkers are in the midst of complex tasks.
Humor in the workplace is often seen as “high-brow” humor. This means that humor should be targeted towards the intellect of your coworkers and not include foul humor, dirty jokes, sexual references or slapstick humor tactics. To be funny in the workplace, stay up-to-date on current events so that you can make humorous remarks about worldly happenings. This time of humor is often seen as more intelligent and more appropriate for the work place, as opposed to knock knock jokes or toilet humor. Use these tips to be seen as funny in the workplace. Remember that it is better to play it safe than sorry when dealing with humor in the workplace. Err on the side of caution when dealing with any joking that could possibly be seen as offensive of overly crude.