Fight the Economic Doldrums with Workplace Humor

Last Updated Oct 24, 2008 6:09 PM EDT

2203595978_35cd766424_m.jpgWith the economy sliding and job stresses increasing, it doesn't seem like there's all that much to laugh about in the office these days. But this is exactly the time we should be thinking about lightening up a little, says Don Boone on the Spherion Career Blog.

He writes,

Going to work during stressful times usually doesn't result in high productivity and enjoyment in the workplace. So why not lighten the emotional load by keeping the workplace relaxed and fun?
Laughter has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones and boost endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Humor in the workplace can also help accomplish organizational goals and promote teamwork. And enjoying your workday makes it more likely that you -- and your team -- will be more motivated and productive.

If your workplace needs an infusion of laughter, have managers and higher-ups take the lead to set the tone. Margot Carmichael Lester of suggests you can learn to get your funny on by thinking and looking outside the box; poking fun at events, not people; and looking for absurdity and incongruity in situations to develop your sense of humor.

For those who need some hand-holding in the humor department, Toastmasters will teach you how to tell a joke and Rinkworks offers a primer on how to be funny. Or if you're a do-it-yourself type, Popular Mechanics can give you the lowdown on five great pranks you can build in the office.

Of course, if you're really desperate, you can find refuge in the so-called lowest form of humor, the pun -- if you don't mind hearing groans instead of giggles from your co-workers.

(image by LoopZilla via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for and writes regularly for and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.