Thursday, 01 Nov, 2007 Science
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Humor - Pretty Important at Workplace

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Does your boss reproach you every time you are kidding around at work? Show him the results of the latest research on how humor affects the working environment. In fact, according to the research, humor, and especially kidding about things related to the job, improves creative approach to work, cohesiveness of employees and their performance in general.

Chris Robert, a researcher from the University of Missouri-Columbia, proves that occasional humor among co-workers has a positive impact on creating the right atmosphere in the workplace. He has come to this conclusion after examining theories on humor and literature from numerous disciplines related to the subject. The researcher has analyzed hundreds of sources to make the case that humor is actually serious business.

Chris Robert, who also works as a psychology teacher at MU’s College of Arts and Science, believes that humor is no way incompatible with goals of the workplace. Light humor does not interfere with the organization's strive for being competitive.

It is not about workers clowning around and having fun. A good joke at the right time significantly improves cohesiveness in the workplace and quality of communication among colleagues within an organization. Workers' ability to appreciate humor, their ability to laugh and make others laugh has a positive physiological effect on the human body and makes people experience positive emotions and become more bonded.

Robert stresses that he has also paid much attention to the international aspect in his research. His paper addresses some of the major cultural differences between the American and Asian economic powerhouses.

The researcher admits that humor is often difficult when you find yourself in cross cultural situations as it is hard to know exactly what will be considered funny or when it is appropriate to use humor. Some people believe it is better to avoid humor all together. The researcher has basically rejected this idea in his work and offered some ground rules to help others understands when and what humor might be appropriate.

So, as long as you find yourself surrounded by colleagues of your own culture, feel free to make jokes and improve their and your own mood and performance.

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