Note: This is part 4 of a 5 part series detailing why it’s important to have humor in the workplace. This post discusses the obvious reason to incorporate corporate humor – fun.
There are 168 hours in a week, 52 weeks in a year, and usually at least 35 years in a normal person’s working life. Given that most people work “40 hours” (that’s on the low end if we’re lucky), that means we spend nearly 25% of our adult lives (40 hours a week, 2080 hours a year, and 72,800 hours in our lifetime) at work. You subtract a modest 6 hours of sleep per night (if we’re lucky), and it turns out that roughly 40% of our waking hours are spent with our jobs.
Aristotle said “You are what you repeatedly do.” Well if you repeatedly come to work (40% of the time you’re awake), then that means you are an employee. But if you were to describe yourself, would “employee” or “worker” be at the top of your list? I doubt it. Most of us would say “parent”, “friend”, “daughter”, or perhaps “comedian.” But “worker” or “employee” – not for me.
Now some of you might be thinking, “But Drew, I work to live, not live to work. I describe myself based on what I do in the other 60% of my waking hours.” I would agree and applaud you on your astute observation. But you can’t just ignore the other 40%. You can’t ignore 72,800 hours of your life.
My point is this: given the amount of time we spend at work, why can’t it be enjoyable, exciting, (gasp) FUN? Sure there are times at work that fun accidentally happens. Every now and then a director messes up a cliche and it’s funny, or someone sends out an “interesting” email to an entire email conference that provides some laughs, but why can’t fun be apart of everyday life, something we intentionally bring to the table?
You can. Not only is humor in the workplace fun, but it can lead to better health, improve relationships, and enhance leadership skills. At a fundamental level, more workplace fun = more workplace satisfaction. I’m sure even your boss would approve of something that has all of those benefits.