Humor Can Help Your Career -- No Joke!

Germany, Bavaria, Munich, Woman whispering in man's ear in office
Getty Images

We don't know exactly why human beings laugh. But we do know that's it's for social reasons; laughing isn't something we tend to do alone. This makes humor an excellent tool for settling into a new workplace, at least according to 79 percent of chief financial officers.

When the temporary staffing agency Accountemps asked 1,400 CFOs, "How important is an employee's sense of humor in him or her fitting into your company's corporate culture?": 57 percent said it was "somewhat important" and 22 percent replied that it was "very important."

Search Job Openings

In Partnership With

The value of humor in the workplace has been noted before. "The use of humor, and the ability to produce and make humor, is associated with intelligence and creativity, two things highly valued in workplaces," Chris Robert, assistant professor of management at the University of Missouri, told Businessweek back in 2007.

Office humor, especially of the David Brent/Michael Scott variety, might be seen as inappropriate, distracting and even dangerous (if it teeters over into harassment). But Robert and a doctoral student researched the effects of humor in workplace environments, and found that its benefits were manifold. It can improve creativity and department cohesiveness, and because laughter is pleasurable, on the most basic physiological level, a jokey workplace can actually boost productivity.

Laughing, and even just anticipating a laugh, can spike your health-making hormones, and drain your levels of cortisol -- the steroid that flushes your body to stress you out. So humor doesn't just help you fit in; it can actually help keep you fit. And while it's good to know that CFOs agree, the value of humor is also pretty intuitive. Starting your day with a belly of mirth is likely to up your mood and your focus better than three cups of coffee and a good cry.

Next: Twitter Makes Purposely Embarrassing Recruitment Video

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

Stories from Come Recommended

Filed under: Office Humor, Co-Workers

Claire Gordon

Staff Writer

Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.

Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at Add Claire to your Google+ circles.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

1 Comment

Filter by:
5ygww_com hello

February 05 2012 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Search Jobs

In Partnership With

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

July 20 - July 27

Looking for work? See what companies added new openings this week.


Check out our new Map Search

Locate your next job using the new AOL Jobs Map Search!

Pin down your next great opportunity today.