It’s no joke: humour in the workplace

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that colour your World. Try adding some bright colours to the picture by including humour, and your picture begins to lighten up.”
– Allen Klein

The world has experienced incredible difficulties this year. There is no doubt that COVID-19 has impacted the way we think, the way we behave, and the way we work. But, despite the sadness and stress the pandemic has brought, the constant stream of #rona and work from home memes flooding our social media feeds, shows us that people will always make light of a bad situation, and a laugh will always make us feel a bit better.

The question is, how do we create light in a corporate context? How do we create a positive work environment during times of crisis (or at any time for that matter)?

One really effective way is by injecting positive humour.

Humour in the workplace is no joke. Research shows overwhelmingly that, when humour is intentionally injected into workplace culture, productivity increases, stress levels drop, communication improves, employee turnover and absenteeism rates drop, and creativity and innovation thrive. Read this article or this one for more on that.

Prior to COVID-19, Enablo Experience Consultant Zarese spoke with international business speaker and President of Humour at Work, Michael Kerr about how humour can be used to build culture. As many are facing longer periods of remote working and the challenges that come with it,  humour is more important than ever to support resilience during this change.

Focused on supporting businesses to energise employees, Michael lends us his advice on how to use humour to bring people together and inspire great culture.

Show notes

00.00 – 04.00 Humour is critical in a workplace
Understand how humour can help people deal with change and stress, as well as its impact on collaboration and communication.

04.00 – 9.20 Creating a space to let a sense of humour shine
It is important to create a psychologically safe work environment to both permit and enable the use of humour. Leadership plays a significant role in setting the tone for this.

9.20 – 15.40 Everyone’s role in finding the naturally funny
Sharing humour at work means being vulnerable and taking chances… and anyone can do it (you don’t have to be extroverted!). We also discuss the humour line and the role of the office joker.

15.40 – 18.40 Planned versus unplanned humour
Most humour is organic but it can be curated. What can you do to curate positivity and a few laughs in your organisation?

18.40 – 22.50 Building a psychologically safe environment on Workplace
Workplace allows businesses to strengthen relationships through fun sharing and activities.

TIPS for Workplace implementation

  • Create a weekly ‘Friday funny’ post and encourage staff to post their favourite joke or GIF based on a theme
  • Establish a ‘Funny file’ group where all staff can share funny on-the-job stories
  • Play games or competitions that use creativity to add joy and laughter to the work day
  • Establish social groups to allow staff to share fun personal hobbies and experiences
  • Ensure leadership are actively involved in setting the standard for sharing humour on Workplace

22.50 – 28.30 Tips to build a comedy culture
Listen in for Michael’s tips like forming rituals and traditions.

As many businesses work remotely, a sense of connection is more important than ever. Humour is humanising and is also one of the best stress-busters around.

Workplace is the perfect platform to build funny into your culture. Let us know if you need help incorporating humour into your strategy and content using Workplace!

Contact Michael to discuss how to add more humour into your culture:
Mr Michael Kerr
[email protected]

Mike Kerr, President of Humour at Work



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