Want to Feel More Connected? Try Some LOLs

Feeling worn down and disconnected from your team? Humor may be the key to reconnecting with coworkers again.

Numerous studies show that humor deepens trust and reduces stress while decreasing boredom and enhancing creativity. As companies start to reimagine the post-COVID workplace, in the midst of office changes and safety protocol, levity will be the key to keeping company culture alive and well.

“The workplace needs laughter,” Harvard Business Review declared in 2014. “Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”

Despite all of the benefits of working from home – less time commuting and safety from the spread of the coronavirus – being isolated can make employees feel disengaged and disempowered.

In a recent Indeed survey, nearly three-quarters of workers said they miss socializing in the office.

Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of the recently published book Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is A Secret Weapon in Business and Life shared findings from their book in a recently Forbes article.

Among their findings:

  • Leaders with a sense of humor are seen as 27% more motivating and admired. Their employees are 15% more engaged and their teams are more than twice as likely to solve a creativity challenge.
  • Workplaces that embedded humor in their culture said employees were 16% more likely to stay at their jobs, feel engaged and experience satisfaction.

Humor at work is not about wisecracks, it’s about levity: sharing moments of lightness that create connection and balance the seriousness of work.

“We’re living in a time when empathy, inclusivity, and authenticity are important for all leaders,” said Aaker in an interview with The New York Times. “Humor is actually a secret weapon that can serve them well.”

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

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