Bringing humor into the workplace is a good thing. It can improve morale and make the general drudgery and dullness of the office work easier to bear. But at the same time, being a manager who cracks jokes all the time can make you annoying to your direct-reports. Thankfully, there are people like the self-proclaimed Dr. Humor who can help.
In an article written for "Commerce Now" magazine back in 1995, the good doctor says that "except for April Fool's Day and the usual jokes exchanged with colleagues, business people tend to take things pretty seriously, maybe too seriously. In fact, companies are increasingly recognizing that business success can (and should) be a laughing matter."
He then goes on to list a number of companies he claims have started to introduce humor into their regular work day such as, "General Electric, AT&T, Kodak, Lockheed and IBM."
According to the author of the article and Dr. Humor, "it is increasingly considered essential for managers to have a sense of humor, noted in an article in Nation's Business as one of the seven qualities of a 'great boss.'"
The doctor then offers some advice, some of which we have heard before, such as knowing your audience before telling any jokes. Some jokes can be offensive to some people and turn you from a person known for laughs to someone looking for a new job.
However, the doctor also states that humor reduces stress and greatly improves the productivity of the employees, if it is handled correctly.
So, if things seem a bit dark and dim and productivity is low in your office, you may want to try to lighten things up a bit with some laughter. Just be careful and avoid telling the dirty and racial jokes. If things are already grim, nothing could turn that into hatred faster than a poorly-thought-out joke.