Laughter is a fascinating thing. When it feels inappropriate, we suppress it. In times of great difficulty, we rely on it to get us through. And when it comes to time with family, friends, and colleagues – we share it.

But the concept of a big hearty laugh is still something of a taboo subject in many places, especially at work. Some people still associate laughter in the workplace with unprofessional or immature behaviour. But when the belly laughs and chuckles die down, there are surprising benefits to be had for businesses and individuals alike.

And those benefits might just be the key to improving the overall wellbeing of your employees, as well as their productivity.

Team building

The modern workplace can sometimes feel like constant bombardment of meetings, deadlines, and pressure. Combined with a tense team dynamic, this can cause stress to build up.

Laughter is a joyful quirk of the human condition. It is a universal way for people to connect, regardless of language barriers or other obstacles. For a team to truly bond and grow as one, laughter is a powerful unifier that sets the tone for an open, honest, and trusting environment.

Better mental health

Laughter has been known to reduce stress producing hormones. It can also give us a powerful endorphin boost, which is a natural method of relieving stress, pain, and worry.

Increased motivation

When walls are broken down, you open the door to new ideas, innovation, and a positive company culture where everyone feels inspired and appreciated. A fun and energetic meeting with some humour thrown in can help motivate your team and unify their mindset.

Workplace culture

Laughter goes a long way towards developing trust and cultivating a supportive culture. After all, it is how we make lifelong friendships outside of work. Bringing humour into the workplace gives employees a reason to stay with your company, remaining loyal to your business.

Improved communications

Employees are far more likely to discuss their mental health if they feel supported, helping reduce absenteeism and harmful workplace stigmas. This can then be channelled into a more open and cohesive culture of communications across all departments.

Bertrand Stern-Gillet, CEO at Health Assured, says:

“Of course, there’s a time and place for laughter. But when used in moderation and applied well, a good laugh can be the difference between a pent-up workforce and a motivated, positive team.

“Like anything in the workplace, laughter should remain as inclusive and safe as possible. After all, humour that excludes others is never acceptable. Be sure to always keep morale high whilst directing positive energy into your overall business goals.

“Laughter is contagious. And in a forward-thinking workplace that understands the importance of a happy, healthy team, it’s a powerful tool to nurture happiness, loyalty, and productivity. Health Assured is proud to have been named one of the 2023 Times Best Places to Work – and I’m absolutely convinced that this is due to the positivity we have fostered over many years. When it comes to workplace culture, laughter really can be the best medicine.”

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.