A few months ago I read an article discussing the all-round benefits of laughter in the workplace which really struck a chord with me. The article caught my eye not because the content surprised me (laughter = happiness = productivity) but because I was surprised more businesses hadn’t caught onto this simple and healthy way to boost staff morale.

Working in an environment where bursts of laughter are accepted and encouraged (Tony, I’m looking at you) I have a true lived experience of the benefits of a good belly laugh at work. Laughing reduces certain stress hormones, encourages a healthy immune system, increases the production of endorphins as well as acting as a sort of social ‘glue’, bringing people together. Studies conducted in the last few years have lead to laughter in the workplace increasingly being viewed by researchers and management alike as a desirable attribute for colleagues, with a shared chuckle between work mates indicating a work environment more likely to be innovative, productive and happy – all good things for employees and employers.

If you have a staff body of two or two thousand, staff members who have friendly, supportive relationships with their colleagues, consider their work to be meaningful and interesting, and are kept ‘in the loop’ with business decisions, are not only more motivated to deliver a higher standard of work, they also tend to be more engaged in their work and their work environment. This has the added benefit of happy staff effectively operating as ambassadors for the company they work for, positively promoting their workplace to the community outside their organisation.

So how can employers create and foster a culture of happiness in the workplace? According to leading British HR researcher, Chiumento, the top ten factors which promote happiness and ensuing productivity at work are as follows:

1. Friendly, supportive colleagues
2. Enjoyable work
3. Good boss
4. Good work/life balance
5. Varied work
6. Belief that we are doing something worthwhile
7. Feeling what we do makes a difference
8. Being part of a successful team
9. Recognition for our achievements
10. Competitive salary

It is interesting to note that elements traditionally supposed to be associated with increased employee productivity such as reward, public recognition and promotion prospects do not feature on the list. Could it be that instead of short term perks, employees actually want work benefits which have a little more substance? That’s certainly what research is currently suggesting.

So spread the season cheer this Christmas and let a little happiness into your workplace. If you are stuck for ideas call the happy team at Jack in the box, we have plenty of proven methods to help inject smiles and profitability into your work place – just watch out for Tony’s jokes!

If you would like to read more about the articles which inspired this blog click here for the article from The Australian and here for the happiness report from Chiumento.