Our work lives can be so stressful on a daily basis and we all know that stress is very harmful to our physical and mental wellbeing. My workplace is no different, especially recently with some corporate changes. One thing that I am trying to remember throughout the day is to have fun. Now, maybe what I am doing is not fun, but I can create fun by laughing with patients or co-workers. Even a smile or a pat on the shoulder to someone makes me feel lighter, uplifts others and that changes my outlook to be more positive.
Levity and humor are good for our physical and mental self. A study done by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda School of Public Heath, in California, shows that laughing impacts the immune system making it grow stronger with increased activity of T-cells, natural killer cells and antibodies. Research has also shown that laughing reduces stress, high blood pressure, and oxygenates our blood, which increases energy and relaxes our muscles.
With the decline of Americans being satisfied with their job (80%, at last count, are unhappy with their employment) you would think more employers would be looking for ways to “lighten up” the workplace?
Many employers are of the mindset that if their employees are laughing and enjoying themselves at work then the work must not be getting done. When, in fact, people work better when they are interacting and enjoying some levity at work.
Just take a look at the management practices of Google, Evernote and Best Buy (which are just a few among the many) that are of the belief that humor, enjoyment and just plain fun make employees happier and businesses more profitable.
In the article linked below, Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach has studied fun at work for years. He’s discovered that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decision-makers, and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren’t having fun.
There are many benefits to bringing humor to the workplace, take the challenge and see what good spirits you can raise at work today. Oh, and please share them with me because I am always looking for new things to bring levity to our workplace.