A happy place to work
Everybody likes to laugh sometimes, whether at a funny joke, an amusing incident or a hilarious photograph or sound. Comedians who parody well known people always tickle my funny bone! The great thing is that once we've had a good laugh, we feel happier. It would seem therefore, that bringing a bit of humour into more serious situations might be good for us.
Places like a humourless office or a tense classroom could sometimes do with a good dose of laughter. I know that in my workplace, a bit of hilarity can go a long way towards making it a more enjoyable place to spend eight or so hours a day. Seeing the funny side of things can certainly lift our spirits and that in turn can make us feel better about what we're doing.
Maybe we should get inspiration from Steve Carlisle, president of General Motors of Canada. When he walks around the firm's Ontario headquarters he shares his sense of humour to bond with his staff. He says "It can help people feel more relaxed, more comfortable and thus be more effective at what they do." Humour can be used by teachers in the classroom too. It's a good way to break the ice with students and create a more relaxed atmosphere which is good for learning, as long as everyone doesn't spend all their time in hysterics!
But we have to be careful; not everyone laughs at the same things. While some of us may admire a work colleague or fellow student for their clever and well-told joke, others may consider them sarcastic, offensive or just an idiot! According to Professor Schweitzer, from the University of Philadelphia's Wharton School, a worker or boss who successfully uses humour is seen as both confident and competent, which in turn increases his or her status. He says "Being funny is taking a risk, and being risky shows confidence." His study 'Risky Business: When Humour Increases and Decreases Status' also found that someone who tells inappropriate jokes is also seen as confident but they're also regarded as incompetent.
So telling the right jokes in the office or classroom can spread some happiness but if you still think working and studying is no laughing matter, take note of a study published in The Journal of Behavioural and Applied Management in 2006, that found for healthcare workers, emotional exhaustion was significantly lower among those who experienced greater levels of fun at work. And other research has discovered that teams who share more jokes gave more supportive and constructive statements to each other - and that's no joke!
tickle someone's funny bone
the funny side
lift somebody's spirits
sense of humour 幽默感
break the ice
no laughing matter