101 Ways to Create Humor at Work

With all of the benefits to having humor in the workplace, every office could stand to have a little more fun.  But how do you incorporate humor into the corporate world?  It’s easier than you might think.

From individual activities such as reading office jokes, to team-building games using improv, to community-wide fun at work through a Talent Show, here are 101 ways to get you started to a happier, healthier, more creative and productive office:

personal-healthPersonal Health

Break up the workday with some physical activity, laughter, or even meditation to help reduce stress, improve blood flow and even burn calories.

1. Relax and Recharge: Spend 15 minutes a day relaxing and recharging at recess.
2. Walk around: Start a walking group at work; map out a route through the office that has you walking for at least 10 minutes.
3. Be Hularious: Hold a hula hoop contest.
4. Sleep: Take a nap at work.
5. Breathe: Take 10 deep breaths every hour.
6. Smell the Roses: Take a break to take in your surroundings.
7. Bust a Move: Dance in the elevator.
8. Bust a Move Together: Better yet, have a 3pm dance party.
9. Eat and Be Merry: Have a “laugh lunch” and watch clips from The Office.
10. Take a Break: Install software like InstantBoss to make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day.

motivationMotivation

Kick things into higher gear with some motivational tweaks to your every day work and see your productivity shoot through the roof.

11. Be Inspired: Start off each day by watching an inspirational video.
12. Lock-in Inspiration: Create easy-to-remember, hard-to-hack, inspirational passwords.
13. Pump It Up: Get energized for the day by listening to some of your favorite songs on your commute to work.
14. Rock It Out: Create a playlist of fast paced rock music or equivalent; listen to it while doing less than exciting work.
15. Listen Closely: Listen to classical music when you are required to concentrate on one task.
16. Address Yourself: Write a letter to yourself highlighting where you want to be in 3, 6, 12 months and include a silly joke.
17. Motivate: Get a motivational poster.
18. Laugh-tivate: Get a de-motivational poster.
19. Picture the Good Stuff: Get a digital picture frame and fill it with pictures of your friends and family.
20. Provide Some Background: Change your desktop background to something motivational.
21. Lead with Quotes: Include leadership quotes in your email signature.

funFun

Bring out your inner-child to break the monotony with good old fashioned fun.

22. Take Aim: Post up a dart board; have a tournament.
23. Build Some Fun: Make a pen bow and arrow.
24. Slink Around: Get a slinky; play with it quietly while talking on the phone.
25. Think Outside the Cube: Learn to solve a Rubik’s cube; share it with others.
26. Score a Touchdown: Play paper football while waiting for a meeting to start.
27. Hit the Deck: Create a personalized deck of cards for your work; play “Go Fish” with them.
28. Tell the Future: Build a “Paper Fortune Teller” using work lingo.
29. Master the Paper Arts: Learn to make an origami crane; make one while you are on a conference call.
30. Fly Around: Make paper airplanes with some of your cubicle mates; see whose can fly the farthest.
31. Look at Things Differently: Get a Magic Eye book for your cubicle; share it with people when they come by.
32. Share Some XOXO’s: Play tic tac toe with a co-worker.
33. Eavesdrop: Read Overheard In the Office; add your own entry.
34. Get Type-Cast: Play a game and get better at typing.
35. Give a Makeover: Give your boss an online makeover, even if your boss is a man.

networkingNetworking

Enhance your career and have fun by extending and strengthening your network.

36. Dine Together: Go to lunch with someone new each day for a week.
37. Tweet Something: Stay connected with co-workers or friends through microblogging.
38. Be a Freshmaker: Find a mentor; give him/her Mentos for mentoring.
39. Write That Down: Start a blog/newsletter at work on a topic you have passion for.
40. Play Halloween: Set out a bowl of candy at your cube; allow people to have a piece only after they tell you a story or make you laugh.
41. Be a Storyteller: Pick a story from your weekend to share with others.
42. Read the Not News: Find a story on Fark.com to share at your work lunch or happy hour.
43. Say Thank You: Send a thank you note for something someone did at least once a week.

team-buildingTeam-Building

Improve your team’s communication and listening skills to make the whole greater than the sum of it’s parts.

44. Improvise: Play improv games as a team.
45. Mix It Up: Create work appropriate nicknames for people on your team using anagrams.
46. Be a Pirate: Figure out everyone’s Pirate name on your team.
47. Get Animated: Create Simpson’s avatars for all of your team members.
48. Become Royalty: Find out which Disney Princess you are; watch one of the movies.
49. Author-ize: Work with co-workers to write a book about your workplace.
50. Find a Pin-Up: Make a themed calendar full of pictures of people from your department.
51. Map and Match: Gather trivia about the people in your team; send out a mapping and matching quiz and see who can correctly guess all of the matches.
52. Be Happy for 60 Minutes: Organize a happy hour with your co-workers.
53. Picture This: Photoshop pictures of your team onto a picture of super heroes or celebrities.
54. Get Hip to Facebook: Create a Facebook group for people at your work. Use it to connect socially.
55. Be Diverse: Play Diversity Bingo at your next team gathering.
56. Do Some Branding: Create a logo and theme music for one of your projects; use it whenever you do status updates or send out emails.
57. Decorate: Make thematic “door decs” for the people on your team.
58. Have a Team Name: Name your row of cubicles something indicative of the people or work done there; encourage others to do the same.
59. Praise Others: Send a co-worker anonymous praise.
60. Recognize: Send out a quarterly recognition email recognizing accomplishments of fellow employees and sharing some humor.

meetingMeetings

Survive the drain of meetings by incorporating some humor into the mix.

61. Play a Song: Learn “Mary Had A Little Lamb” on touch tone phones; play it while waiting for a phone conference to start.
62. Share What You Know: Present a tip/trick like the old “The More You Know” commercials.
63. Learn the Language: If you work internationally, learn a few words and phrases of a language of one of your co-workers; surprise them with it in your next meeting.
64. Pass Notes: Pass a note in a meeting like you did in grade school; make it semi-work related.
65. Lie: Play two truths and a lie during introductions at your next meeting.
66. Give Back: Use your next leadership team meeting to volunteer somewhere in your community.
67. Unleash Your Inner Village Person: Perform YMCA at your next community meeting.
68. Have a Ball: Get a stress ball; toss it back and forth when talking in meetings.
69. Take Note: Take meeting minutes; include fun/interesting/random thoughts you have while in the meeting.

trainingTraining

Improve engagement and retention with a little variety and uniqueness in your training materials.

70. Metaphor-ize: Explain your next training using an unlikely metaphor, such as why project management is like getting married.
71. Turn Lemons into Lemonade: Set up a lemonade stand; give out lemonade and teach patrons about your service or project.
72. Get Poetic: Write a poem describing the benefits of what your organization works on.
73. Be a Conductor: Warm up the crowd at your next presentation by conducting a symphony of syllables to pronounce your subject.
74. Act Now: Act out a skit in your next presentation to demonstrate a point.
75. Fill in the Blanks: Start your next meeting with a work related Mad Lib.
76. Simon Says Play: Play Simon Says at your next training session.
77. Embed Meaning: Be like Alfred Hitchock and find a way to work in a picture of yourself or your kids into every presentation; be creative about it.
78. Be Magical: Learn a simple magic trick and use it in your next meeting or presentation.
79. Equate: Come up with your own Albert Einstein equation.
80. Tell a Joke: Include an intentionally silly joke in your next speech. Tie it back to the topic somehow.

communityCommunity-Building

Build a stronger community and improve relationships in the entire office with some laid-back, entertaining, office humor.

81. Eat, Greet, Meet: Start a lunch bunch.
82. Play Your Heart Out: Bring in the game Rock Band and have a “concert.”
83. Post a Bulletin: Put a bulletin board in a common area; take turns with your co-workers posting different topics on the board.
84. Get Cartoony: Start a cartoon board, post some funny cartoons.
85. Showcase Your Kids: Create a “look at what my kid made” mural for employees to share their kids’ creations.
86. Prove You’ve Got Talent: Hold a planned talent show.
87. Make It Up: Hold an improvised talent show.
88. Get Lucky: Organize a pot luck lunch with people in your office.
89. Be Gross: Hold a “grossest foods” dessert party.
90. Piece It Together: Put out a jigsaw puzzle in the breakroom for people to work on during a break.
91. Attract the Opposite: Buy refrigerator poetry magnets for the lunchroom.
92. Read and Discuss: Start a business (or fiction) book club at work.
93. Exchange: Organize a book or DVD exchange between co-workers.

miscellaneousMiscellaneous

Be creative, be humorous, be funny, be random, be happy through a smorgasbord of office fun.

94. Smile: That’s it, just Smile.
95. Live and Laugh: Try to laugh 100 times in a day; it doesn’t matter at what.
96. Ask Questions: Include an off-the-wall question in your next survey, such as “How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
97. Get Sketchy: Create a video sketch.
98. Know What’s Going On: Schedule 30 minutes on your calendar every week to read about what’s happening in your industry.
99. Say the Word: Check out Merriam-Webster’s word of the day; see if you can naturally work it into a conversation.
100. Have F.U.N.: Name your next project something that has a silly hidden acronym.
101. Be Original: Brainstorm your own unique way of bringing humor to work.

Got your own way to create humor at work? Share it in the comments.

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{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Kathy May 1, 2011, 8:01 am

    WOW!!! It took me this |—————-| long to discover this site. I’ll be here often, hope you don’t mind.

  • paulo May 12, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Try to create a new look and share it with friends at http://www.fim.me, have fun :)

  • Christian Entrepreneur May 13, 2011, 11:10 pm

    I like #63. It promotes community, shows you’re interested in other coworkers and makes them feel valued!
    I hope that was a serious suggestion:)

  • Bre June 15, 2011, 3:53 pm

    These are great! I’m so glad I found this! At my workplace we make poster-sized crossword puzzles to solve together. It’s a nice break from work but still keeps our brains working. In addition, it’s always fun to see what other people know.

  • Andrew June 16, 2011, 9:58 am

    Thanks Bre, that’s a great add!

  • Martin October 3, 2012, 7:31 am

    Great! In our office if a theme comes up we pun it to death. Also we liven up internal email by insertion of cartoon graphics relevant to the email subject -sometimes a little risque, but always on the right side of bad taste….

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