Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Publishing
SFU Student

empty
Statue with a laughing face
If you are a hard worker with a sense of humour, it will benefit you and create a harmonious workplace environment.

Laughter creates the feel-good chemical dopamine, which heightens creativity, builds teamwork, and even dispels negativity. Humour is often considered one of the best ways to relieve stress, tension and anxiety.

But wait, is humour important in the workplace? Some argue that people with a sense of humour are seemingly more successful. Additionally, others suggest that a little levity won’t hurt; instead it can go a long way in creating a positive and relaxing atmosphere in the workplace. So, does this mean you should be funny at work?

“A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

- Dwight D. Eisenhower, the former President of the United States

Research at California University pointed out that being funny could help employees to release tension. If we use humour tastefully and appropriately, taking time to laugh can help us get rid of negative feelings and help us concentrate on our work!

“Even people who aren’t always comfortable sharing their humour tend to do so in more relaxed environments where the use of humour becomes second nature with everyone’s style.”

- Michael Kerr, the President of Humour at Work

He further suggests that by adding more humour at the workplace, it helps boost morale, reduces stress and conflict, and even improves your chances of personal success.

According to a Robert Half International survey, 91% of executives believe that a sense of humour is crucial for their career advancement, while 84% agree that people with a good sense of humour do a better job.

What makes appropriate humour?

  • Make fun of situations, not people. Never use humour to belittle, mock or put people down.

  • Be tactful. Being funny in stressful situation may help to put a new perspective.

  • Seeing humour in everyday situations in the workplace.

  • Poking fun at yourself. According to Dr. Terry L. Paulson, “When you tell a story that pokes fun at yourself gently, it acts as a social lubricant that says, “Hey, this person is a human being, someone at ease with life, and we can feel the same way.” In other words, if you try to be relaxed and have fun at yourself, it will make the atmosphere be less stressful.

Our first priority at work is definitely the job at hand and respecting others. If you are a funny person but a lazy worker, there is no room for humour. Co-workers could find you annoying and question your ability. However, if you are a hard worker with a sense of humour, it will benefit you and create a harmonious workplace environment.

I leave you with a quote by a famous comedian of all time,

“A day without laughter is a day wasted”

–Charlie Chaplin. 

SFU Student
Jeannie Chong is a Special Projects Assistant with SFU Career Services, and a fourth year student studying communications and publishing. Jeannie also volunteers at a radio station, spends time doing crafts and Chinese calligraphy, and loves to indulge her sweet tooth.

You Might Like These... Professional Development, Personal Development, Career Exploration, Life Experience

Marble statue of Socrates
Know Thyself

So you have graduated from university and are hanging your well-earned degree on your bedroom wall, and all of  a sudden, a tiny, yet unavoidable voice in the back of your head is quietly screaming “No time to celebrate, you need to find a job!” or “I’ve got my degree…what do I do with it?!’.

Mike, author
Indigenous Stories: Mike, SFU Alumni

"I have no solid plans for the future and I love it...I know that every experience that I have had, every failed plan, was really an excellent mistake that gave me the skills I need to handle any situation that gets thrown my way in the future."  Read Mike's story of career exploration, and how to handle constant change.

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Adrian Fung
A Letter to My Younger Self

A 6th-year SFU veteran drops WISDOM to his younger self. Read this if you would like some perspective on your university journey from someone who has been here before you even started high school.

TRIUMF particle accelerator
A Penny in a Sea of Sheldons: My Co-op at TRIUMF

You see a job posting, you read the description, you become interested. You apply for the job, you get interviewed, then you get hired. Now what? Anh Vu, shares how she learned the ropes at TRIUMF. 

Article Banner
SFU Joins National Conversation on International Learning Experiences for Students

SFU has joined the Canadian Bureau for International Education’s (CBIE) Learning Beyond Borders (LBB) initiative to inspire more students to take advantage of learning experiences in other countries. Learn more about this initiative and what is means for you!