Having a Hoot is a Bottom Line Issue

As our economic mess heads into its third year, business has never been more serious. It might seem an odd time to make a case for levity in the workplace. But The Levity Effect authors Scott Christopher and Adrian Gostick are doing exactly that.

Christopher and Gostick argue that a little lightheartedness can actually improve productivity and employee engagement.

Turns out they’ve got some solid research on their side. According to a survey in 2008, 80 percent of employees in Fortune 100 companies say they’re having fun on the job. A quick glance around the average workplace will tell you how far THAT is above the average.

And it’s not just the rank-and-file. The Harvard Business Review found that executives who are seen by their employees as having a sense of humor tend to last longer in the company, climb the corporate ladder quicker, AND make more money.

Don’t confuse this lighter approach with telling lame knock-knock jokes. Anyone who’s been cornered by their jokey Uncle Mort knows that a genuine sense of humor has very little to do with memorizing and reciting canned material. It’s about rolling with the punches, finding the humor in everyday situations, and most of all, not taking yourself too seriously.

So celebrate successes. Make a joke at your own expense. Join in the laughter in the lunchroom. Be affable, fun, lively. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself having more fun at work and helping others to do the same.

And a happy workplace is a productive one. Everybody wins.

Leave a Reply