Over the last several years, the workplace has changed dramatically to include people of all age groups and different cultural backgrounds. People also tend to socialize more at work today, be it over lunch or at the water cooler.
An essential part of social interactions is a good sense of humor, mainly situational humor that your colleagues can relate to. Many people remain hesitant about cracking funny work jokes to fear being perceived as unprofessional or offending someone.
However, tasteful humor can be an excellent way to improve social dynamics at the workplace and foster better collaboration. We don't just say that. It turns out a series of studies by London Business, MIT and Wharton have shown the positive impact of humor at work life, as reported by Harvard Business Review.
The psychology is that laughter relieves stress and boredom. At the same time, it boosts engagement and well-being. Along with spurring creativity and collaboration, even a chuckle or guffaw improves analytic precision and productivity. Laughter induces physical changes in the body by enhancing the intake of “oxygen-rich air” to increase the brain’s release of endorphins.
Further, it can stimulate circulation and help muscle relaxation, which helps reduce physical symptoms of stress. Harvard Business School Professor Alison Beard shares her research in an article titled “Leading with Humour.”
Given how teams are distributed and working remotely since March, laughing is primarily the need of the hour amidst the pandemic's stress. A well-timed and healthy office joke can break up some tension and bring everyone a little closer with shared laughter.
Few things are as useful as a good laugh in reducing stress and helping people come together. A well-timed joke can defuse potentially thorny (and awkward) situations and allow employees to collaborate better.
Often, new employees or colleagues from different departments may be less at ease when conversing. Wholesome humor acts as an icebreaker and allows people to be less formal and more friendly. That has a direct impact on employee productivity.
Given that a significant part of every weekday is at work, people will naturally want to work with colleagues they like.
Humour is an excellent way to win people over and make friends. When people have a camaraderie with each other, they can sail through shared goals and hurdles with more positivity. It is so important for teams to be aligned. They can do so much together!
Humor helps to relax the mood and lets people think more freely without being constrained by their inner critic. This enables them to see things in more innovative ways and potentially develop new solutions to problems.
A Harvard Business Review research shows cracking jokes at work can actually make people seem more competent. Plus, that can create a culture of appreciation when people are on the same wavelength at work.
Laughter is a social signal for people. People can become more likable at work and inspire trust in their coworkers, subordinates, and even bosses. Studies have consistently shown that more likable and approachable people tend to garner trust and form stronger work relationships.
An office environment that encourages humor creates a happier space for employees to work in. Sure, fun corporate activities at work do wonders, but there is something more personal about cracking jokes.
Thanks to humor, employees will look forward to coming to work (or logging on to their laptops) every day and being motivated to give their best to their jobs.
We at Xoxoday appreciate a good old joke at work, which is why to help managers, coworkers, and subordinates lighten the mood online now and then, we have compiled a list of 14 timeless jokes of the day work that can never go wrong.
Have a crack at them!
1. I love it when I log out of work early to surprise my wife at home, and she greets me with three powerful words: "Were you fired?"
2. My annual performance review said that I lack "passion and intensity." I guess the management hasn't seen me alone with a Big Mac.
3. I had a job interview today. The interviewer told me I'd start on $3,000 a month, and then after three months, I'd get $3,500 a month. I told them I'd start in three months.
4. I love my job. Lately, colleagues have been putting names on the food in the office fridge. I'm currently eating a sandwich called Mary; how sweet!
5. Employer: "We need a responsible professional for this job." Job Applicant: "Ma'am, you found the right person. In my earlier employment, whenever something went wrong, everybody said I was responsible."
6. Boss: "Do you believe that there is life after death?" Employee: "No, that can't be proved." Boss: "Well, there is now! Yesterday after you left work saying that you had to go to your grandma's funeral, she called the office looking for you!"
7. I recently got a job at a paperless office. Everything was perfect until I had to use the bathroom.
8. Linda walks into her boss's office one day and says, "Sir, I'll be honest with you. I know the economy isn't great. But I have got three companies after me, and I'd like to ask for a raise respectfully."
There is some haggling, but the boss finally agrees to give a 5% raise. "By the way," asks the boss as Linda is leaving his office, "I’m curious, which three companies are after you?" She replies, "The electric company, water company, and phone company."
9. When I got logged on to my laptop this morning, my manager pinged me and asked, "You missed work yesterday, didn't you?" I said, "No, not particularly."
10. Yesterday at work, I realized someone was being horrifically inefficient and told her, "Isn't that slowing you down?" She said, "It is, but I'm in the kitchen remodeling business, so I'm supposed to be counterproductive."
11. Here's a wonderful piece of advice: At a job interview, tell them you're willing to give 140% unless you're applying to be a statistician.
12. A lady goes in for a job interview with the boss. The boss asks her, "What is your worst quality?" The lady says, "I'm too honest." The boss says, "That's not bad! I think honesty is good quality." The lady says, "I honestly don't care about what you think!"
13. I couldn't believe my road worker's father was stealing from his job, but when I got home, all the signs were there.
14. I always tell new hires: Don't think of me as your boss; think of me as your friend who can fire you. Simple!
Everyone loves a good joke unless it offends someone. Remember not to use any derogatory language that could have long-term repercussions on a coworker or manager's relationship or work itself.
Seven tips about cracking funny jokes at work: the dos and don'ts
1. Simple jokes can help to build rapport with a new teammate or subordinate. It will help put them at ease and settle in better.
2. Tasteful humor can act as a catalyst to convey information better, such as in presentations or meetings. If you think sprinkling humor between your presentation will keep people engaged, use humor smartly.
3. Be very careful not to crack jokes that are offensive to any community, religion, sexuality, country, or lifestyle.
4. Do not crack jokes targeting a specific person at work. Such marks will never be taken lightly. It could even result in both professional and personal rivalry. Why create bad karma with jokes on other people? That’s just rude!
5. Comedy is about timing, and if you can’t time your jokes well, you will never get any laughs! Save them for a slightly gloomy day when the team can do with cheering up.
6. If you do not feel confident about being funny, don't force yourself to crack jokes. It will come out as awkward and fail to make people laugh.
7. Never use jokes to make light of sad situations such as a family death or being fired. Some people might use humor to lighten these situations, but not everyone will take well to it. So, be mindful of such situations.
Not everyone is a comedian, but the best part is one does not need to be. Humor can take many forms. If you put a smile on someone's face or lighten their otherwise gloomy day, it can do wonders to endear you to the team! Brainstorm a few jokes or steal the ones we shared above and make everyone laugh!