If you’re too busy to laugh, you’re too busy

Elisabet Hearn and I wrote this article for 2020visionleader.com

We all spend a lot of time at work, even if it’s virtual. Many spend more time with their colleagues than they do with friends and family. Sounds familiar?

And when you spend that much time at work, it needs to be enjoyable and fun. That doesn’t mean that it has to be “laugh out loud” fun (although that’s great too!), but it needs to have great elements of joy and fulfilment at regular intervals.

This in turn means that the relationships that you have with people at work are of great importance to that joy. If you have non-functioning relationships, unresolved conflicts, unhealthy competition or even bullying, then something needs to change.

No-one is an island – being able to work constructively with others increases the opportunity for enjoying work and most definitely for achieving individual, team and business results.

Here are just a few ideas for how you can do this:

  • Get to know your colleagues – you spend a lot of time with them!
  • Assume positive intent – people usually do the best they can, don’t be too quick to judge others
  • Take time to listen to each other and recognise that everyone has something unique to contribute
  • Encourage healthy and constructive discussions
  • Discuss and agree how to best work together as a team
  • Bullying is NEVER OK – challenge such behaviour in a respectful and constructive way (practice what you preach, don’t bully back)
  • Take time for a quick coffee/tea – and talk about something other than work
  • Smile – it’s contagious:-)

FUN – EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY

Yes, work should, whenever possible, definitely be fun. There is after all no law against it. There should be laughter – not at the expense of work of course, but as something that promotes a better work environment, better collaboration and better work results.

Don’t wait to be given permission to have fun, just make it more fun. It can be contagious in a really good way. When you last laughed out loud, what was the reaction – what was the result? Think of the impact that having fun has on the environment around you.

It’s very natural to have fun. Sometimes we take work too seriously, as if work is not supposed to be enjoyable in that way. But then we are overlooking the power of fun.

BENEFITS OF LAUGHTER

There are some very cool benefits that you get from laughing.

  • Did you know that laughter relieves stress and boosts your immune system?
  • Did you know that it improves your mental functioning and creativity?
  • How about that it makes people and teams bond, creating better relationships?

Yes, having fun at work is a great success strategy, it’s as simple as that. Imagine how energised you feel from having laughed together with your colleagues. It’s like an injection of energy – and we can all do with some of that, right?

And genuine, well-intended laughter is of course also so very contagious. Great teams have fun together.

LAUGH MORE

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh at the silly things, see the fun in things. Even setbacks can be funny – not then and there – but as you get some distance, and perspective, to them. Allow yourself to laugh and shake things off.

Laugh more at work – it’s supposed to be fun:-)

Author: Excellence in Leadership

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