Winter is coming, and with it comes a drop in our moods, the wildfire of cold and flu, and subsequently a drop in energy and productivity. While many may turn to drinking gallons of coffee to survive the day, a far simpler, more fun and beneficial option would be to try and laugh more! Here are a number of ways laughter can be beneficial for employees in the workplace:

Motivation
Working environments paired with laughter are hothouses for success and employee satisfaction. It has recently been found that employees who enjoy work and see their workplace as fun work harder and are more loyal to the company. This in turn has an effect on tardiness, absenteeism and the turnover rate as employees look forward to going to work. Boredom and laughter cannot coexist. Therefore, laughter and fun in the workplace can also serve a purpose in relieving a person from the unavoidable boredom that comes with repetitive and tedious routine tasks. This keeps employees more focused and motivated.

Mood
Laughter has a huge influence on making someone feel relaxed. A wholehearted laugh has the ability to relax muscles for up to 45 minutes relieving physical tension and stress. Feeling a sense of relaxation in your workplace is imperative, as research has shown that too much stress can have negative effects on people’s work ethic, health and emotional state. Laughter also releases endorphins that are hormones that trigger a positive feeling in the body, which can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep and self-confidence.

Health
Research has found that laughter not only has positive psychological effects but also physiological. Humour has the ability to increase immune cell function and decrease stress hormones resulting in an improvement in fighting off infections and diseases. Additionally, humour can help improve blood flow to the heart, preventing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Laughter therefore has the ability to keep more employees in the office and less time at the doctors.

Relationships
Humour can have an essential role when it comes to team building amongst the workplace. Companies that play together stay together, and teams that laugh together, graft together! Laughing can naturally bring colleagues closer and help create and maintain relationships and also reconcile disputes.

Learning
When we experience something positive, such as laughing, dopamine is released in the brain. Dopamine is the brains pleasure chemical and helps with memory, cognition, behaviour and motivation, which are all key when learning and makes us more receptive to new ideas.

All of the above are important for productivity in the workplace and are influenced by the Power of Laughter. So the next time you’re in the office, don’t be afraid to crack a cheesy joke or pull a minor light-hearted prank. After all, humour is infectious and laughter is the best medicine!