Last Updated Oct 24, 2008 6:09 PM EDT
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 Monster.com 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.