When you take a look at all of the benefits of humor, it’s hard to understand why there isn’t more humor at work. This is getting better (I don’t think they were having a whole lot of fun in the coal mines, but I could be wrong), but there is still far too little fun in the workplace.
So what’s preventing work from actually being enjoyable? Here are 5 things people believe that are stopping them from having more fun.
1) Humor at work is inappropriate.
The biggest reason most people don’t have fun at work is they think it’s inappropriate. They believe that “business is serious, so we better be serious.” Apparently no one told Google or Zappos this.
The reality is that humor in the workplace leads to happier, healthier and more productive employees.
2) No one will take me seriously.
Some people worry that if they use humor in the workplace, no one will take them seriously when it comes to actual business. Luckily, this isn’t true. In fact, leaders use humor, not ignore it. As Mr. Smith (that’s Sydney Smith, not Agent Smith) said:
“You must not think me necessarily foolish because I am facetious, nor will I consider you necessarily wise because you are grave.” – Sydney Smith
3) There’s nothing fun about what I do.
Many people refuse to believe that there job can be more fun. And while I won’t deny that some jobs are less fun than others, it doesn’t mean any job can’t be improved. Whether you work at a fast-food restaurant, do data entry or manage a small company, your work can be more fun, it’s just a matter of finding out how.
Simple challenges to yourself or coworkers can help you get you through your day; setting your desktop background to something you want to achieve can give you inspiration; playing with a slinky during downtime can give you something to do–there are hundreds of ways to have humor at work.
4) It takes too time / cost too much money.
Some people fear that incorporating humor in the workplace means huge effort and spending money. Humor at work doesn’t require elaborate events or special props–phone calls can made more fun by playing some music or sharing some pictures.
Keep your humor effort simple and you’ll have fun without any additional overhead.
5) No one else cares.
People desperately want you to help them have fun. Think about who you like to spend time with in the office, it’s the people who always have that interesting story to share or that funny video from YouTube.
Using humor at work requires leadership, and you’re a leader aren’t you? Even if you are in the lowest position at your company, you can take the initiative to make the workplace more enjoyable. All it takes is a little creativity.
Need ideas on adding humor at work? Check out some posts on how to use humor in the workplace. Got a few ideas of your own? Leave ’em in the comments.