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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. Here’s why you should use humor in the workplace.
THE NEED FOR HUMOR AT WORK
- 83% of Americans feel stressed out at work. 
- 55% of Americans are unsatisfied with their job. 
- 47% of Americans struggle to stay happy. 
BENEFITS OF HUMOR
- 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. 
- Humor and Stress. Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can:
- Increase your heart rate by 20% 
- Improve blood flow by 50% 
- Burn as many calories as 5 minutes of aerobic exercise, 10 minutes of dancing, or 15 minutes of milking a cow. 
- Humor and Relationships. Humor helps build relationships by group cohesiveness, reduction of status differentials, diffusion of conflict, team and trust building among diverse groups.  And people with 3 close friends at work are 96% more likely to be satisfied with their lives. 
- Humor and Happiness. Humor can increase happiness by up to 42%. 
WHY HUMOR AT WORK IS MISSING
With so many benefits to using humor, why do only 33% of workers use it? 
- 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.”
PEOPLE WANT HUMOR
- 81% of employees say a fun workplace would make them more productive. 
- 97% of professionals believe it’s important that managers have a sense of humor. 
- 98% of CEOs prefer job candidates with a sense of humor. 
HOW TO HUMOR
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):
- Affiliative – Amusing others as a way to facilitate relationships.
- Self-Enhancing – Finding amusement in life’s hardships and staying positive.
- Self-Defeating – Saying funny things at one’s own expense.
- Aggressive – Disparaging others as a way of manipulating them.*
*Not really appropriate for the workplace.
- Add a humor section to your newsletter.
- Take an improv class together.
- Ask interesting questions.
- Celebrate Beer:30.
- Practice Yes And!
- Share this webpage.
SOURCES Humor That Works Survey
 Stressed Out at Work? By Susan Adams. Forbes.com April 2013
 The Science of Workplace Happiness, US News.
 US Happiness: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
 Positive affect facilitates creative problem solving by Alice M Isen, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1987
 “The Comedy Cure” in Readers Digest Sept. 2007
 “50 Ways to Beat the Reaper” by Denny Watkins & Alison Granell & Heather Loeb
 “Give Your Body a Boost with Laughter.” R Morgan Griffin. WebMD
 “Humor in the Workplace: A Communication Challenge” by Robert A. Vartebedian, PHD. Presented at Speech Communication Association, Nov 1993
 Vital Friends by Tom Rath
 Humor Therapy: Relieving Chronic Pain and Enhancing Happiness for Older Adults by Mimi M.Y. Tse. Journal of Aging Research. Volume 2010.
 Humor in the Workplace: Anecdotal Evidence Suggests Connection to Employee Performance by Lauren Breeze. Perspectives in Business, St Edwards University, 2004.
 Inside Joke: Humor Can Help the Bottom Line. Dana Wilkie. Society for HR Management. October 2013.