Word-Of-the-Week #683: Benefits

September 7, 2017 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #683: Benefits 

Benefits things that aid or promote well-being; advantages.

How would you rate your stress factor at work? How often do you experience boredom? Are there days you want to call in sick?

This is the follow up on Chicago Tribune article by Marissa Levin, “FUNNY BUSINESS Cutting up at work offers host of benefits. Corporate America needs to loosen up”.” To recap:

“According to research from Wharton, MIT and the London Business School, giggles and guffaws offer several business benefits. Laughter can relieve stress and boredom, boost engagement and well-being and spur not only creativity and collaboration, but also focus and productivity, Harvard Business Review notes.

Babies laugh about 400 times a day; people over 35, only 15, Harvard reports. A recent study of Gallup data for the U.S. found that we laugh significantly less on weekdays than we do on the weekends.

  • Well-executed jokes convey intelligence and confidence.

How you execute a joke can make a big difference in how people perceive you. Harvard Business School research found these conclusions during a study that assessed how joke-telling drives perception:

A joke teller often is perceived as more confident than people who don’t tell jokes.

An individual who tells a failed joke may be viewed as less competent, especially if the joke is offensive.

If a successful joke teller experiences a boost in perceived confidence and competence, it would likely improve others’ perceptions of the joke teller’s status.

  • Laughter improves employee health and can reduce sick days.

Laughter has been shown to provide many health benefits in the workplace, including reducing depression and anxiety.

Laughter also releases endorphins, allowing one to instantly feel happier. It also can relieve stress and promote creativity by being in a more relaxed state.

And let’s face it, workers are more likely to want to come to the office when it’s a fun, creative space, thereby reducing sick days.

There are several ways organizations can integrate fun, laughter and humor into the workplace.

First off, hire fun people. It sounds simple, but it can be tricky. It’s important to seek out employees who have hobbies and community involvement outside of work.

Information Experts once hired an employee because he was a perfect fit for our clients and our service offerings. When he showed up at the office on his first day with a cot so he could sleep in his office, we were alarmed.

He clearly didn’t have the same philosophy on work-life balance that I had established as a core value for the company. He didn’t last long, and he unknowingly made an appearance in the year-end slide show at the holiday party.

Set aside time, people and money for fun. Establish your own Good Times Committee so that employees can plan scavenger hunts, happy hours, parties for non-traditional holidays and life milestones.

And remember that yukking it up isn’t the only thing that matters. A positive and supportive atmosphere also is part of this healthy equation. When people are stressed out, it’s important to give them room.

Be attuned to the mental state of your employees and give them what they need. We all need to step back and pause in times of stress. Create an environment that supports and encourages mental health breaks.

Life is too short to be in a position or company that doesn’t bring you joy or doesn’t support you through difficult times. Loving what you do and loving where you do it are keys to long-term health and happiness. No joke. Marissa Levin is the founder and CEO of Successful Culture, which helps CEOs and leadership teams master critical aspects of business growth.”

This week is all about the benefits of laughter. How often do you have FUN at work? Do you feel that you work for a positive and supportive company? Can you imagine being on the Good Times Committee (GTC)? What Good Times would you create?

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