When was the last time you really laughed during your job? You know the kind – not just a little chuckle, but that full-out, side-splitting sort of laughter that leaves you gasping for air? For the typical employee, remembering the last time humour made work feel like that much fun could be a challenge.

This begs the question: Does working cause us to lose out on laughter?

According to the Harvard Business Review, studies indicate that babies laugh an average of 400 times a day; by the time we’re 35, that number drops to 15! Missing out on a hardy “ha ha” as we get older is no laughing matter. In fact, laughing can have a multitude of positive effects on the human body – including relieving stress, improving the immune system and boosting mood. All of those benefits go out the window when things stop being humorous and start getting too serious.

That’s why it’s important to find the fun at work and embrace everyday humor! Here are some things to consider if you’re not hearing many laughs around the office lately:

There are Workplace Benefits Beyond a Good Chuckle

Aside from the physiological benefits of ditching stress through humor, it can also help to generally alleviate tension on teams. If you’ve ever been in a tough situation as a member of a team, you know it can reach a point of extreme seriousness where everyone is walking on eggshells and too nervous to misspeak. A well-timed moment of lightness might be just what your team needs to move past the elephant in the room!

In today’s workforce, creativity is often cited as the most sought after trait needed to fuel the work of tomorrow. After all, while artificial intelligence promises countless innovations to come, robots still haven’t quite figured out how to tell a good joke! Without a little humor to help employees to get comfortable and open up, creativity might just be stifled.

The Best Material is Honest and Authentic

If your office environment is suffering from a lack of laughs, a copy of “101 Dad Jokes” likely won’t be the solution to the problem. Instead, the goal should be to cultivate a workplace culture that values honesty and authenticity. As the old saying goes, there’s truth in comedy. That’s why the things that makes us laugh the most come from real experiences! Teammates will be better equipped to make quips by taking a real interest in on what’s going on in the office and taking part in group activities.

If you can’t find a way to draw laughs out of office happenings or the latest pop culture phenomenon that’s dominating coffee talk, there’s a simple rule to follow: When in doubt, make fun of yourself! Self-deprecating humor is usually a safe bet because it shows the audience that the joker doesn’t take themselves too seriously.

Be Better Than Unoriginal and Offensive

While the benefits of humor in the workplace are numerous, the negative impact of malicious comedy can be just as significant. A good, lighthearted joke might lighten the mood, but a crude or offensive one can instantly transform the workplace into an unsafe space. If something you’re about to say is being made at the expense of others, worded in a hurtful way or dismissive of someone’s feelings, it’s probably best not to say it. A few cheap laughs might feel worth it in the moment, but no amount of comedy is worth severing relationships over.

While the laughter rate might slip as we age and enter the workforce, there’s no reason why employees shouldn’t be able to find humor in everyday tasks! Do you have any tips for finding the fun at work? Give us your best one-liner in the comment section below!