The benefits of laughing in the office

The benefits of laughing in the office

via the Harvard Business Review by Betty-Ann Heggie

While on an investor tour in Europe, I ended a busy day by joining my boss at a nice restaurant. After he said something funny, I responded in my typical style — throwing back my head and letting out hearty, unabashed laughter. People were taken aback. They turned to stare at me.

I asked my red-faced boss whether my laughter had embarrassed him. “It is pretty loud,” he muttered under his breath.

Later that evening, I castigated myself. I lay awake, wondering how many other times my laugh might have caused discomfort in professional situations. Should I try to mute it? Should I give up my executive position and transfer back to sales, which had a more jovial atmosphere? Should I find a new job?

By sunrise, I made a decision: I loved to laugh. I’d keep it and my job. I’d stay true to my authentic self.

It worked out. Now that I was conscious of my laugh, I looked out for what impact it had. I discovered that it did not impede my advancements. In fact, it became part of my signature. When I returned from vacations, colleagues told me they’d missed it.

Our offices had needed a good dose of laughter. And my decision not to rein it in helped. It was something people looked forward to each day.

It turns out that a series of studies shows the positive impact humor can have in the office. “According to research from institutions as serious as Wharton, MIT, and London Business School, every chuckle or guffaw brings with it a host of business benefits,” writes Alison Beard in the HBR article, “Leading with Humor.” “Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.” Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks has also found that cracking jokes at work can make people seem more competent…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE