Why are so many of us under the assumption that the workplace has to be so serious all the time? Many corporation’s business hours are anywhere between 7 am to 7 pm. If this is the case, when do we have time to joke around and have some fun in our day to de-stress from our busy lifestyles? In corporate communication, there is a time and place for everything, this includes humor.
As we all have encountered, probably on more than one occasion, humorous or not so humorous misunderstandings over text messaging and even conversations over the phone. These misunderstandings can also be the same communication failures in corporate communication. Though a topic or scenario at work might be funny, there is a certain time and place for that. In an e-mail, a comical statement may be taken the wrong way and come off as offensive and even rude. In e-mails, there is no body language or tone of voice, which makes it harder for the receiver to understand what your intentions are. Conversations over the phone are a little bit easier to pick up on the humor because you are able to hear the laugh or chuckle in the speakers’ voice. Even with this type of communication, if the speaker doesn’t offer enough information, or any hint of humor, it will be difficult to catch the joke or phrase.
Face-to-face communication is typically the easiest way to read and understand a joke, comical phrase, or sarcasm. In a corporate setting we all could stand to have a little less stress. During a presentation for a client, humor may not be the best idea depending on what you’re presenting and who your client is. Take for instance, a weekly staff meeting. It has to be done, and most of them just go over all the same basic information. Many of these could be less mundane and stressful if a joke was said during it or more comedy was incorporated into it.
Here is a manager’s perspective on humor in the workplace.