We all know how good we feel after a good laugh, but laughter is often frowned upon as it is thought we need to be serious in senior management and teams in order to be productive and flourish in the working environment.
This is so far from the truth. The phrase “Laughter is the best medicine” is also true for businesses. Laughter Yoga is coming into the corporate world to make a huge difference to businesses with regards to not only happiness levels and boosting health, but also in the workplace – employees and communication techniques.
Here are 6 benefits of allowing our teams to laugh in the workplace:
- Boosts morale in the team
- Laughter can help create a happier and more enjoyable work environment, boosting morale in the team. Since team members are happier and more engaged with other team members they will become more productive, be invested in their work, and feel motivated. As laughter can be in the form of jokes which are conditional, it is wise to add unconditional laughter into the equation in the form of Laughter Yoga exercises.
- Reduces stress
- A research paper showed that “A hearty laugh lowers stress levels – cortisol – by a significant amount.” As stress causes tiredness, heated conversations, and lowers the immune system to be more susceptible to illness; laughter, therefore, reduces sickness absences. Laughter is a natural mood booster and is a much preferred, healthier alternative to alcohol or drugs which can affect work productivity and work/life balance. The feel-good hormones— dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins released through laughter, reduce the stress and anxiety levels that team members can often feel, and with laughter they feel relaxed and have a real spring in their step all day.
- Brings creativity
Through the extra oxygen intake into the brain, laughter can stimulate creativity and encourage team members to think outside the box. This further leads to innovative ideas and solutions. Without stress, and with the right-side brain activated and oxygenated a lengthier laughter session can stimulate creativity, bringing about new exciting ideas to benefit the team and company.
- Improves communication
Laughing together and, in particular, Laughter Yoga where unconditional exercises are non-judgemental helps break down barriers whilst improving communication and empathy among team members, leading to better collaboration and teamwork. The sense of fun adds enjoyment to working together and team bonding is prevalent.
- Boosts the immune system
Through the release of NK cells and T cells through the lymphatic system, team members are healthier, have fewer sickness absences and fight off viruses quickly. More trust is therefore developed between team members where reliance to complete tasks is important.
- Increases productivity
Laughter can improve productivity by increasing both enthusiasm and motivation, creating new systems, innovative techniques, and problem-solving skills. Together with strengthening team relationships, working more effectively as a team boosts productivity, an asset to the business.
Allowing a team to laugh can have numerous benefits for the team and the organisation. It can lead to a more productive, positive, and collaborative work environment.
World Laughter Day takes place annually on the first Sunday of May which promotes health, happiness, and a more peaceful world to live in.
Laughter has many benefits, the above are some of those related to businesses. Allowing a team to laugh, or participate in a Laughter Yoga session, can be incredibly beneficial for managers and their team members. Forward-thinking managers are realising this and have thriving teams.
This guest blog is written by Sara Kay, the founder of Serious Laughter www.seriouslaughter.co.uk. She is an FHT Accredited Laughter Yoga Teacher, Mental Health First Aider, Laughter Ambassador, and Wellbeing Laughter workshop facilitator and has worked with corporate clients, conferences, schools, and nursing homes. To find out more about the virtual and in-person Laughter Yoga workshops that she offers, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will surely make you feel upbeat, calm, and stress-free!