Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Light Humor in the Workplace is a Good Thing According to MU Study

In this day of political correctness and workplace harrassment concerns, it is commonly believed that kidding around at work isn’t a good thing.

Well, turns out that some light humor is good in the workplace according to a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher, who has examined how workplace humor affects the working environment.

Chris Robert, assistant professor of management in MU’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, said that humor – particularly joking around about things associated with the job – has a positive impact in the workplace.

Occasional humor among colleagues, he said, enhances creativity, department cohesiveness and overall performance. The conclusion was made by examining theories on humor and integrating literature from a wide variety of disciplines that touch on the subject. Several hundred sources were analyzed by Robert and collaborator Wan Yan, a business doctoral student.

“Humor has a significant impact in organizations,” said Robert, who also teaches psychology in MU’s College of Arts and Science. “Humor isn’t incompatible with goals of the workplace. It’s not incompatible with the organization’s desire to be competitive. In fact, we argue that humor is pretty important. It’s not just clowning around and having fun; it has meaningful impact on cohesiveness in the workplace and communication quality among workers. The ability to appreciate humor, the ability to laugh and make other people laugh actually has physiological effects on the body that cause people to become more bonded.”

So see, it turns out that I was doing the right thing all those times that a previous boss told me to "stop being funny."

Do learn more about the results of this study visit


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home