What is Work Appropriate Humor?
Nothing dissipates tension and picks up the spirits like a good joke. Studies done by the Mayo Clinic and other medical research labs have even been able to scientifically prove that laughter relieves stress. The armed forces have since started to send celebrity comedians overseas to bring some laughter to the troops. Getting through the work week here in the business world can also prove to be a pretty tough battle. Laughter can help office workers cope, too, but the fact that we work together on a daily basis can make it a little more precarious to accidentally cross the line from funny to offensive.
3 warning signs that your joke might not be work appropriate:
- The joke is not one that you would want repeated, or attributed back to you
- It targets a specific group or physical characteristic such as race, weight, etc.
- You would think twice before saying the same thing outside of a humorous context
Being mindful of these guidelines, it is still relatively easy to incorporate a fair amount of humor and laughter into your office environment. Try to keep jokes general and focus on topics that don’t single people out but instead pick on human behavior as a whole or the natural quirks of society. The same is true for pranks. A truly good-natured office joker will design a prank in a way that makes everyone in the office susceptible, and prevent the same person from falling victim to your trick more than once.
Need help finding jokes and pranks that are safe for the office? Start with the following links: