By Mike As I left the office for the night a short time ago, it dawned on me that I couldn't stop smiling. Not only that, but the smile had rarely left my face all day. That particular day had also been one of my most productive in recent memory. Coincidence? Several studies support the benefits of laughter in the workplace:
According to a study conducted by the Warwick Business School in the U.K., happy employees are, on average, 12 percent more productive than normal. Unhappy employees are 10 percent less productive.
Chris Roberts, assistant professor of management at Missouri University, has published extensive findings supporting humor in the workplace. Moreover, he encourages employers to look for a sense of humor in interviews, citing a link between humor and intelligence.
In his book, “Evolution for Everyone,” evolutionary biologist Dan Sloan writes that when laughing, “mechanistically, the brain releases a cocktail of chemicals similar to those that we take artificially to give ourselves a good time such as opium or morphine. So besides feeling good, we also act good." I think most offices would rather crack a joke or two than resort to morphine for a good time.
The Global Coaches Network, an organization that provides leadership training, says those who laugh are more creative problem solvers, have better memory retention, and experience less stress.
So next time your boss comes down on you for cracking up, tell him to take a look at some studies like these. There's a good chance your funniest days will be your most productive, and no one can argue with results. But maybe they can laugh about them. Here's some of the Metis crew on a particularly productive day.
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