Laughing Matters


Laughing Matters: The Value of Humor in the Workplace Unknown Binding – 2004

Product details

Do something about my paycheck!

ByReader Viewson December 1, 2006

Format: Unknown Binding

Reviewed by Kelley Anderson for Reader Views (11/06)

Laughter is fun. We all know it is. It has been called healthy, contagious and good for the soul, but good for business? Seems like an unheard of idea. Ann Fry takes laughter to a whole new place – the workplace. In this book, she describes the value of laughter, how it can benefit us in health, happiness and dollars and cents. She presents a variety of really good ideas to take to the workplace and make your co-workers (or yourself) laugh when you really need it. There is an entire chapter on “Humor and Management,” her advise on managers keeping the workplace full of happy, friendly employees while increasing productivity and an entire appendix full of quick self assessments and tidbits that can quickly get you back on track when you really aren’t sure there is any good reason to laugh.

It seems to me that while the main focus of “Laughing Matters” is on laughter, there is very good information about just having a better work experience. From dealing with fellow co-workers to ways to reduce stress, Ann seems to cover every topic of work life there is. While a great starting point to get you thinking about how your work life is fulfilling (or draining) you every day, it left me hungry for more details. Her suggestion of having a “fun committee” is a neat idea. I’m not sure that this would work in every work situation but for most of the bigger corporations as well as some smaller privately owned businesses, it really sound like most of her suggestions would create happier, healthier more satisfied employees, saving you money in both sick days and decreasing employee turnover rates.

As I read through this book, I tried to picture how it might work in my workplace. I work as a 911 dispatcher in a police station in a small town. We have about 50 employees, doing everything from on-the-street police work to records keeping. In my profession, you naturally deal with a great deal of stress at times and the situations you experience, because of confidentiality concerns, cannot normally be discussed outside of work. We, as a profession, have to rely on each other to make the workplace more bearable. I think that in order to survive in a police environment, we naturally resort to a dry or morbid humor to deal with the stress. I as an individual employee couldn’t go to work and put on a pair of silly glasses and a wig, but if management above me would implement even a few of these ideas, I can see how it would be a great deal more enjoyable to go to work. I would love to have a break room full of legos, art supplies, joke books and a scrabble game to blow off steam.

If you dread going to work everyday, you should read this book. Even if you are not management, there are ways that you can change your outlook and that of those around you. My personal favorite is the change in perspective exercise – taking a problem you are having and asking yourself how various people would deal with the problem. Sometimes we all just need to look outside of ourselves for a minute to see the bright side, or the humor, of any situation. I do feel, however, that some of the concepts in this book (for example, people skills) are basic personality traits and cannot be taught. If there is a person you are working with that just has no people skills, no fun committee in the world is going to make him make others laugh. He is going to have to want to do it himself.

In “Laughing Matters,” Ann Fry does a terrific job of giving you a starting place to bring humor and enjoyment back into the workplace. Even if you may not get the full support of management to create a fun-filled employee experience, there are ways you yourself can create a better place to work. From bottom of the barrel to top of the heap, Ann has suggestions for everyone in a company. Now if she could only do something about my paycheck!

Received book free of charge.

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