Humor at Work Infographic

humor at work infographic

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Humor That Works Infographic Text

The benefits of humor at work have been touted since the early 90’s, and yet only 1/3rd of workers use it consistently.[1] Here’s why you should use humor in the workplace.


  • 83% of Americans feel stressed out at work. [2]
  • 55% of Americans are unsatisfied with their job. [3]
  • 47% of Americans struggle to stay happy. [4]


  • Humor and Productivity. When challenged with a problem, people who watched a comedy video beforehand were 3.75 times more likely to solve the problem. [5]
  • Humor and Stress. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can:
    • Increase your heart rate by 20% [6]
    • Improve blood flow by 50% [7]
    • Burn as many calories as 5 minutes of aerobic exercise, 10 minutes of dancing, or 15 minutes of milking a cow. [8]
  • Humor and Relationships. Humor helps build relationships by group cohesiveness, reduction of status differentials, diffusion of conflict, team and trust building among diverse groups. [9] And people with 3 close friends at work are 96% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. [10]
  • Humor and Happiness. Humor can increase happiness by up to 42%. [11]


With so many benefits to using humor, why do only 33% of workers use it? [1]

  • 41% say “I don’t think my boss, peers or direct reports would approve.”
  • 36% say “I don’t know how.”
  • 15% say “I don’t have time.”
  • 7% say “I don’t see it’s value.”


  • 81% of employees say a fun workplace would make them more productive. [12]
  • 97% of professionals believe it’s important that managers have a sense of humor. [13]
  • 98% of CEOs prefer job candidates with a sense of humor. [6]


Humor is defined as: a comic, absurd, or incongruous quality causing amusement. Humor at work isn’t about making work funny, it’s about making work fun.

Four Styles of Humor (in order of appropriateness at the office):

  1. Affiliative – Amusing others as a way to facilitate relationships.
  2. Self-Enhancing – Finding amusement in life’s hardships and staying positive.
  3. Self-Defeating – Saying funny things at one’s own expense.
  4. Aggressive – Disparaging others as a way of manipulating them.*

*Not really appropriate for the workplace.

Get Started

  1. Add a humor section to your newsletter.
  2. Take an improv class together.
  3. Ask interesting questions.
  4. Celebrate Beer:30.
  5. Practice Yes And!
  6. Share this webpage.

Find even more ways to use humor in the best-selling book / app, 501 Ways to Use Humor at Work. Or sign up for my monthly humor at work newsletter.


[1] Humor That Works Survey
[2] Stressed Out at Work? By Susan Adams. April 2013
[3] The Science of Workplace Happiness, US News.
[4] US Happiness: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
[5] Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving by Alice M Isen, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1987
[6] “The Comedy Cure” in Readers Digest Sept. 2007
[7] “50 Ways to Beat the Reaper” by Denny Watkins & Alison Granell & Heather Loeb
[8] “Give Your Body a Boost with Laughter.” R Morgan Griffin. WebMD
[9] “Humor in the Workplace: A Communication Challenge” by Robert A. Vartebedian, PHD. Presented at Speech Communication Association, Nov 1993
[10] Vital Friends by Tom Rath
[11] Humor Therapy: Relieving Chronic Pain and Enhancing Happiness for Older Adults by Mimi M.Y. Tse. Journal of Aging Research. Volume 2010.
[12] Humor in the Workplace: Anecdotal Evidence Suggests Connection to Employee Performance by Lauren Breeze. Perspectives in Business, St Edwards University, 2004.
[13] Inside Joke: Humor Can Help the Bottom Line. Dana Wilkie. Society for HR Management. October 2013.

4 thoughts on “Humor at Work Infographic”

  1. Hello,
    This newsletter is so true.
    I wake up every morning happy no matter what the situation in my life and that gets me through the day.

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