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Why Your Company Should Celebrate Have Fun at Work Day

International Have Fun at Work Day is Friday, Jan. 27, and while it might be an unofficial holiday, that shouldn’t stop you from bringing a little levity to the workplace.

Laughter is Good for Productivity

Humor can be strong medicine that lowers tension and unites colleagues in stressful times. A recent Loma Linda University study discovered that after laughing through a 20-minute video, learning ability improved by 40 percent and the levels of cortisol – a stress hormone – lowered by 45 percent. Chronic release of cortisol can damage hippocampus neurons, leading to permanent impairment of learning and memory.

A good dose of laughter also stimulates both sides of the brain, which enhances learning, eases muscle tension and protects you from heart disease. Another clinical study by the university has shown that laughter strengthens the immune system by increasing infection-fighting antibodies, which results in shorter hospital stays and better patient outcomes.

A Humorous Boss is a Successful Boss

A happy office not only causes camaraderie, employee loyalty and creativity, it reminds people of their value to their managers, their organization and each other.

According to the Bell Leadership Institute, the two most desirable traits in leaders are a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. President Eisenhower once said, “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.

The average American will spend a minimum of 100,000 hours working before retirement, so why not spend a few moments lightening the mood? Consider one of these suggestions for International Have Fun at Work day:

  1. Add a department memo to the newest piece of office equipment, like the espresso maker or printer, stating that it is now voice activated.
  2. Switch out all of a colleague’s family pictures with photos of your boss or their favorite celebrity.
  3. Frame and hang sarcastic inspirational quotes. Just make sure it’s not during investor tours.
  4. Put tape on the bottom of a colleague’s mouse.
  5. Arrive with donut boxes, but fill them with veggie and fruit trays.

The bottom line is that encouraging a few moments of workplace fun and laughing along with your manager ultimately fosters a healthier, happier and more productive workplace.