You won’t be surprised to hear that the part of our brain that deals with emotion is linked to the part that manages our intellect, memory and reasoning powers. Scientists have proven that a positive mood, such as contentment or delight, can lead to imaginative problem solving while negative feelings, such as unhappiness or fear, may lead us to become narrow minded, risk averse and thus lowers productivity. Common sense?
And Laughter, apparently stimulates production of the happy hormone, serotonin. When we laugh we apparently take in more oxygen and stimulate the respiratory system. A good giggle is seemingly a natural relaxant and strengthens the immune system!
Does that mean that “Laughter in your workplace could help your sickness absence rate”!
On this principle, if work is more enjoyable, employees will become more effective and productive. There is a caveat to this because fun imposed by management will only work if employees agree to it. It’s not compulsory
How can you introduce authentic enjoyment and fun into your workplace that fits your business?
- It starts at the top. If you are the leader, smile and choose an upbeat and positive attitude each day. If you’re in a bad mood you will be surprised how quickly it catches on.
- What’s fun for one person will not be fun for another so cater for a few different personality types. The one exception is food…most people find food, especially free food, quite appealing.
- Ask the team what they want to do. What constitutes having fun for them? While you might expect to hear that its a team night out or may be a theme day in the office, you might be surprised if they were to tell you that they want to make a light-hearted film of the way they work that will attract other candidates to join them!
- There are some obvious no-nos. Office humour should not be sarcastic or offend anyone. It should not undermine professional behaviour or detract from core business.
- Celebrate successes. If you have had a good month in why not buy chocolate hearts for all of your staff on Valentine’s Day – it won’t cost a fortune and it will show them how much you appreciate them. Easter is coming so maybe it’s a good time to get down to the local supermarket and buy in bulk!
In September, 2014 the civil engineers behind some of London’s most iconic infrastructure projects put on their dancing shoes to show the public – young people in particular – how happy they are to be engineers and the diverse and exciting careers on offer that you’ll get from choosing maths and science subjects at school. Check out their fabulous video here. It might make you want to retrain as an Engineer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4zymdaEJlA