Humour at Work (Part 1): 8 Benefits of Comedy
Comedy at Work
The most wasted of all days is the one which you did not laugh.
In many offices, pinned on noticeboards or over people’s desks, you can often read… ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps’. It became a rather irritating cliché, put on display in several work environments, by the employees.
The catchphrase is meant to be funny and not to be taken seriously; yet on closer inspection, we get a feel for how staff perceive their place of work. The many aspects of their daily office life: awkward interactions, phone calls, colleagues, personalities and difficult customers that surround them; are more often than not, quite farcical.
An expression of humour or indeed laughter is often needed, to relieve the pressure and bring some sanity back into a business. In Ricky Gervais’ hit sitcom ‘The Office’ (BBC TV 2000), his characters and events are very similar to ones we all recognise from our own workplace. The issues within ‘The Office’ and the absurdity that results from a Christmas party, or the motivational speaker’s address; are ones that ring true to many middle managers.
Because of this familiarity, ‘The Office’ has also been a hit in America, normally a tough place for British comedy. The UK scripts were bought and re-developed, to help them fit into the US system. It seems that Gervais’ clever observations, are common to many work cultures.
Happy Staff = £££
Forward thinking firms have noted that, a happy workplace will motivate staff and produce more results than a negative one, which has a bad atmosphere. Therefore, new training initiatives have promoted such vehicles as; ‘Fun in the Office’ and ‘Laughter Courses’, designed to use humour as a support to the work environment.
‘Laughter Clinics’ can be found up and down the country. The aim is to create a space where people can come together and consciously put into practice the healing power of laughter. The dynamics of the group are important, with a feeling of liberation and ‘setting free the fun child’ contained in each of us.
There are those who maintain that laughter/humour serves some overall biological and useful purpose for the body. In terms of stabilising blood pressure, oxygenating the blood, massaging the vital organs, stimulating circulation and helping digestion; which can all increase life expectancy. Certainly laughter helps us to relax and de-stress.
8 Benefits of Encouraging Fun in the Office
- Productivity goes up.
- Absenteeism goes down.
- Better team spirit.
- More positive attitude in the workplace.
- Staff want to contribute more.
- Relieve stress in individuals and teams.
- Improve the overall culture and environment of the company.
- Increase creative thought and encourage participation.
Other Blog Articles on Humour in the Workplace
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.