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Humor That Works in the Workplace

Bringing humor into the workplace can alleviate stress and increase happiness, allowing employees to be more productive while utilizing aspects of their personality that have typically been left out of the corporate world.  Andrew Tarvin, of Humor That Works, is offering people a way to be more productive, less stressed, and happier, by promoting appropriate humor in the workplace.  In his opinion, most people only learn how to do their job sufficiently. While 83% of Americans are stressed at work, and 55% are unsatisfied with their jobs, nearly 47% struggle to stay happy.  In a drive to become efficient, we’ve run into a problem: you can’t be efficient with human beings.  When there isn’t room for joy or personality in the workplace, we might as well turn our tasks over to the latest robots.



As Tarvin reminds us: humans have “emotions” and “feelings,” they get “sick” and “tired,” and they have to do things like “eat” and “sleep.”

But all is not lost, and humor in the workplace can quickly bring back to life disengaged and unhappy employees. Here’s how:

  • Humor beats stress. Chronic stress can cause muscle tension, high blood pressure, and decreased immunity. Humor can counteract these negative effects. Studies have shown that humor and laughter can relax muscles, decrease blood pressures, and improves our immune system.7
  • Humor engages employees. Disengaged employees cost companies billions of dollars in lost productivity through absenteeism, presenteeism, and ineffective results. Managers who use humor benefit from high levels of employee engagement and work performance, not just for their direct reports but for themselves as well.8
  • Humor reduces turnover. The estimated cost to replace an employee ranges from 20% to 150% of that person’s annual salary and effects the entire department involved. Employees who work in a humorous organization report higher workplace satisfaction scores and say they are less likely to leave their roles.9


Tarvin has plenty of professional experience to back up his claims. He has worked with over 100 organizations using humor in the work place, including Fortune 100 companies, competitive start-ups, and top universities.  Tarvin is an award-winning speaker, best-selling author, and humorist engineer who focuses on helping companies and employees achieve greater results while having fun.

 “Andrew’s session was phenomenal. He was serious in the message he was delivering but humorous and funny at the same time. It was the highest rated session of the day.”

–Roberto Pasquier, Business Intelligence Service Manager

Procter & Gamble


Andrew shares his knowledge on his website, Humor That Works, and on his blog.  He has also presented at TEDx on Humor at Work.

Establishing efficiency in the workplace is essential, but bringing personality and humor into the workplace can not only improve efficiency, but can make everyone happier and more enjoyable to deal with in the process.



7 “Ha! Laughing is Good for You!”, Amy Toffelmire. Canoe.ca, April 2009.

8 A meta-analysis of positive humor in the workplace, Jessica Mesmer-Magnus. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 1986.

9 Rizzo, Brian J. Individual Differences in Managers’ Use of Humor. Communication Research Reports. Vol 16, No. 4, Fall 1999.


With 1,115 comments | Categories: Fun , Inspiration , Social Good Marketing