The Power of Humor

By: Fatima Saleh

I’m incredibly passionate about humor in the workplace and not because it’s fun.
As a designer and writer, the reason why I care about using humor is that it works. It’s effective with the one thing you can’t be efficient with, human beings.
So with that in mind, here are the benefits of humor at work, backed by research, case studies, and real- world examples.


Humor improves productivity. In one study of more than 2,500 employees, 81 percent said they believe a fun working environment would make them more productive. Humor reduces stress. People with a sense of humor report less stress and anxiety than those with a low sense of humor, despite experiencing the same number of issues at work.

Humor prevents burn out. Humor has also been identified as a communication tool that, when used effectively, can prevent burnout and create resilience to stress. Humor provides motivation. The use of humor in organizations has been associated with improving morale among workers, creating a more positive organizational culture and increasing motivation.

Humor increases the size of your paycheck. The size of their bonuses correlated positively with their use of humor – ‘In other words, the funnier the executives were, the bigger the bonuses.


Humor boosts overall brainpower. A dose of humor releases the chemical serotonin in your brain, which improves focus, increases objectivity and improves overall brainpower.

Humor improves decision-making. Positive moods prompt more flexible decision-making and wider search behavior and greater analytic precision.

Humor increases the acceptance of new ideas. Unconventional interactions can lower the barrier for people to posit novel things.

Humor triggers new connections. Humor in the design and problem solving classroom can promote divergent thinking.

Humor enhances ones ability to solve problems. Studies have shown that simply watching comedy films can improve creative problem solving skills.