Siobhan Hammond

Member Article

The Importance Of Not Being Ernest

Siobhan Hammond, Director of Client Services at BergHind Joseph shares her views on laughter in the work place.

When at work, most of us believe that we must be serious in order to be taken seriously – something which has transpired from:

  • A fear of being seen as “[insert name here] the joker” which will threaten our professional position and career progression
  • The historic perception that work is a place ‘to get the job done’; with the belief that if work isn’t a toil we simply aren’t working hard enough

The truth is that this style of thinking and working is out dated. What’s more, it’s proven that a work environment which is too serious and has an absence of laughter is a major contributor to workplace stress; one of the most common causes of long-term sickness absence in UK workplaces today (according to CIPD), which costs the UK economy around £8.4billion every year<a rel=“nofollow” title=””””>[1].

The power of laughter at work

Laughter is a product of humour which (when used well) can transform a workplace when embraced. Creating a positive environment that builds bonds between colleagues encourages positive and innovative thinking and better communication, and eliminates negative attitudes; the result of which is increased productivity and profitability.

The challenge however is creating an environment that humour and laughter will flourish in. This environment needs to be welcoming and one which employees feel comfortable and relaxed within. It’s this that will naturally inspire people to express themselves - from which humour will organically grow and with it so will laughter.

Those that are laughing loudest

Some examples of how the world’s largest organisations are wholeheartedly embracing playfulness, humour and laughter:

1. NHS Tayside

This NHS body has recently undertaken laughter initiatives to support their health and wellbeing policies. By training key employees on using laughter in the workplace, the body aims to use these individuals as advocates for laughter at work and spread the idea across the organisation.

2. Ben & Jerry’s

This well-known ice cream manufacturer uses humour in its daily routine by having a committee that arrange monthly activities to reinforce the value of humour at work<a rel=“nofollow” title=””””>[2].

3. South West Airlines

This US airline strongly endorses the importance of fun at work; from looking for a sense of humour in prospective employees, to presenting organisational results via rap music and videos. This is one organisation that wants ‘its employees to take their jobs seriously but not themselves’<a rel=“nofollow” title=””””>[3].

Embarking on a journey of laughter

The way we work today has taken a dramatic shift. We are now working longer and harder than ever, but by creating an environment where humour – and laughter – is viewed positively work can be enjoyable. It’s this enjoyment that will create a more productive, more efficient work force where everybody will feel more engaged with the business.

Want to find out more?

BergHind Joseph is holding a morning laughter workshop on Tuesday 26thJune where you can discover why laughter is one of the most powerful tools inemployee engagement today. To attend or to find out more about other laughter workshops email

Siobhan Hammond is Director of Client Services at BergHind Joseph

Siobhan Hammond:With over sixteen years’ experience in employee engagement solutions Siobhan has significant experience of working with companies to help deliver results; and is passionate about helping companies improve their overall performance and productivity through their people.

BergHind Joseph:BergHind Joseph is a creative communication agency that uses design, research and strategic thinking across all digital, print and experiential media, to help ambitious businesses build their reputation.

020 7407 7788

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by BergHind Joseph .

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