It’s a common misconception that laughter is somehow inappropriate at the workplace. Actually, humor can be highly beneficial to professional relationships, although you must use it carefully in order to be effective.
Humor creates a sense of belonging, defuse tense situations, and increase productivity. Besides, it’s also a key component of leadership, so you must not overlook its importance and learn to use it wisely.
Nothing boosts bonding like a good laugh together, so humor can be of great importance in the workplace. When people realize they share the same sense of humor, they also realize they can collaborate more effectively and trust each other.
Defuses Tense Situations
A good joke can be an almost magical device to defuse tense situations. The right word at the right time can turn a drab situation into, literally, a laughing matter. Humor allows people to shift perspectives and see the real dimensions of what may appear to them like an unsurmountable obstacle.
Given all its benefits, it’s only natural that humor increases productivity. A workplace where people collaborate and tense situations are defused constantly and effectively tends to be more efficient. Furthermore, humor also spurs creativity, an invaluable skill for any company.
Since it releases stress, humor can be an excellent antidote against burnout. A good joke can relieve an otherwise stressful situation and help people find more pleasure in their work. The importance of this can’t be overstated, since burnout affects mainly high-achievers, precisely the kind of worker you want to keep happy.
Is Seen as a Sign of Leadership
From an individual perspective, humor can increase your social capital at work. Research shows that workers admire leaders who are able to use humor effectively. Competence and confidence are attributes shared by leaders and people with a good sense of humor. Don’t underestimate the importance of wit for the advancement of your career
Use it Wisely
One final word of advice: humor can be very useful in the context of professional relationships, but you must be careful when you decide to use it. If your joke falls flat, it may be bad news for your social capital.
Just as successful attempts at humor are seen as a sign of competence, research shows the opposite is also true. Ineffective banter leads to lower perceived competence, so it’s a good idea to test your jokes before you use them at work.