Managing humour

I came across a really interesting article on Sunday that considers the role of humour in the workplace, mainly from a managerial perspective. For instance, workplace humour can be viewed as a "stress-buster", a way of raising morale, a means to defuse conflict, a tool for building rapport between employees and between employee and customer. In other words, humour appears to be some sort of cure for all evil!

However, going further in to the article, it would appear that a degree of caution may be due if a business is ready to call in "humour consultants", or ready to let line managers indulge themselves "David Brent style". It seems that the main danger in seeing humour as a way of addressing common organizational problems is that humour is rather idiosycratic. Put simply, what one person finds very funny can all too easily irritate colleagues. However, in the worse case scenario, the outcome may be catastrophic with serious offence being taken.

It seems, therefore, what can be taken most of all from the article in question - Public Opinion: Office fun? You must be joking by Adrian Furnham of The Sunday Times is quite simple: don't try and manufacture humour for the benefit of the organization unless you are prepared to pay for things if they go wrong.

A great mixture of work-related blogs to add to my collection:

Opinionistas - continuous observation of the ridiculousness of human behavior, from a lawyer.
The insane waiter - tales from the restaurant
Server stories - stories from the battlefields of a casual restaurant in the Midwest
A day in the night of a stripper - a teacher who also works in the "adult entertainment" industry
My life as a...gas station attendant - a man and his daily and weekly struggles with 40oz-guzzling vagrants, gasoline pump drive-offs, cantankerous coworkers, and eighteen-year-old gangsta potheads who don't think I can spot their fake ID's.

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