Happiness and laughter at work

Happiness and laughter at work

Office humor might lift bottom line, study says

By T.J. GREANEY of the Tribune’s staff

Published Saturday, November 3, 2007

A medical examiner said he pokes fun at his own age. A surgeon puts up funny names on fake patient charts. Sheriff’s deputies trade stories about the dumbest calls they got that day.


Humor can be found at nearly every job, no matter how high the stress level or how depressing the task might seem.

Now, a University of Missouri-Columbia professor of psychology and business is showing why humor on the job is not only therapeutic, it’s also good for business.

Professor Chris Robert and doctoral student Wan Yan recently published a study that evaluates existing research on the ways humor affects employees. Their conclusion: Joking tends to spark creativity, bridge cultural divides and forge unity in the office.

“A lot of it you can bring back to positive mood and emotion. Humor is going to enhance positive emotions,” Robert said. “And so that’s going to improve relationships between you and your boss, you and your co-workers, but also it will have a positive effect and an important impact in productivity or performance.”

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