Laughter and Productivity in the Workplace

Must I ban laughter in the workplace?

employees laughingIs there lack of seriousness and productivity when you hear your team laughing? That will depend on what they are busy doing. Most managers are under the impression that the place of business must be grim and permanently in serious mode. It is true that business and tasks must be taken seriously but it does not mean productivity must be sacrificed every time somebody laughs. Not being able to express feelings freely can cause bigger damage to your organization and your productivity.

Employees spend most of their time at work and it is normal that experiences are shared there. Unfortunately to those who do not have any experience other than the seriousness of business this will seem like unacceptable behavior. Prohibiting the occasional laughter and sharing of experiences has negative effects such as

  • Low employee morale
  • Non participation in team activities
  • Low productivity
  • Non interest in organizational goals
  • Poor communication
  • Resistance to authority

How does laughter help the organization?

Most people spend their time outside work on matters that does not require them to be focused 24/7. There is a reason for that. Scientifically it was proven that non focused tasks realign the brain into a more active state should it be called on again. In other words the brain need to reboot in order to be able to remain focused. A brain focusing on a specific task or action for too long will be less productive than a relaxed mind. A team sharing a laugh every now and then will be able to focus and perform better.

How do you control social behavior?

By laying down strict workplace guidelines it is possible to let employees know what acceptable behavior is and what is not. Allowing employees some level of freedom but also knowing when to refocus the group will eventually pay off. Employees will learn to know the boundaries and refocus themselves.

Remember to be a leader and staff will follow. Being a boss can be deadly to your productivity expectations.

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