Getting Serious About Workplace Humor


“Humor has a place in almost every work environment,” says Martha Craumer in Getting Serious About Workplace Humor, an artice in a Harvard Managment Communication Letter I found from 2002.  The article explores some of the key advantages to office humor.

Some of the highlights from the article:

  • “‘People who use [humor], particularly in stressful or seemingly one-down positions, are viewed as being on top of top of things, being in charge and in control, whether they are in fact or not.'” (page 3)
  • “Humor accomplishes three main goals: releases tension, creates a sense of acceptance, and restores a healthy perspective on a given situation.” (page 3)
  • “You don’t have to be the source of the humor–just create the conditions in which humor can flourish.” (page 3)
  • “‘Good feelings tend to spread and create a place where people want to work,’ says [David] Granier [a psychotherapist, consultant, and stand-up comic]. ‘That’s worth a lot in terms of fewer sick days, lower stress, greater productivity, and higher profits.'” (page 4)

Source: Getting Serious About Workplace Humor by Martha Craumer.  Harvard Communication Letter, July 2002.

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