The Importance of Laughter in the Workplace

March 22, 2012
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You’ve probably all heard the phrase, “laughter is the best medicine,” and I often find this to be true. Who doesn’t enjoy a good joke or a perfectly timed one-liner to help lighten the mood? Indeed, it feels good to laugh, even if at ourselves.

Recently, my senior management team and I faced off in a trivia game show as part of an all-employee meeting. With pressing business topics to discuss, and the continual demands on the time of our global employee population, one could ask, “Why even bother taking the time for this type of activity?”

You’ve probably all heard the phrase, “laughter is the best medicine,” and I often find this to be true. Who doesn’t enjoy a good joke or a perfectly timed one-liner to help lighten the mood? Indeed, it feels good to laugh, even if at ourselves.

Recently, my senior management team and I faced off in a trivia game show as part of an all-employee meeting. With pressing business topics to discuss, and the continual demands on the time of our global employee population, one could ask, “Why even bother taking the time for this type of activity?”

In our hyper-connected world, we’re working harder and tackling an array of issues in one of the world’s most important industries: healthcare.  So, why take a little time for a bit of old-fashioned foolishness?   Because our work lives seem to lack lightheartedness.  Norman Cousins extolled the healing power of laughter in his bestselling Anatomy of an Illness but you don’t have to be ailing to know that laughter has restorative power.

But, in the day-to-day grind, it is easy to forget. So, my call to you today is take a minute to share a laugh and lighten the mood with your coworkers – doing so makes it easier to pull together when the going gets tough.  

Having a little occasional fun is a necessary ingredient as we go about our serious and important work of making the world a safer and healthier place.

 Don’t lose sight of this one.