Since the onset of the lockdowns that accompanied the Covid-19 pandemic, many professionals have shifted from working in the office to working remotely at home. While remote work may be more accommodating to your schedule and beneficial to your work, not seeing your coworkers or boss in person may lead to feelings of loneliness or a lack of connection that may affect both your work and how comfortable you feel as a member of the workplace.
Much like in the office, humour is a valuable tool for those working remotely. Humour can help aid in communication and connection even in a virtual setting. If you have been working from home, here’s how humour can help you feel more connected to the workplace from the comfort of your own home.
Connect with your Coworkers with Comedy
One of the biggest hurdles for people working from home is a feeling of disconnection from workplace culture and community. When you are not working and learning with your coworkers in the same environment it can be hard to build connections and feel like a valuable part of the community.
A great sense of humour is an invaluable tool when it comes to connecting with others. Using humour with your coworkers when in virtual meetings or through work-based communications can help you find common ground with those you work with. When we laugh together, we build connections that are strong enough to stretch over the Wi-Fi connection.
The more you make people laugh, the more memorable you will be. If you are not in the office, your co-workers and your boss may not always think to include you in community-building activities in the workplace. If everyone knows you have a great sense of humour, you are more likely to be included and therefore feel more connected to your company’s culture.
Communicate Clearly from the Comfort of your Couch
While virtual communication like emails, meetings, and calls are convenient, they do not contain the ability to present all of human communication. Since humans communicate both verbally and nonverbally it is hard to truly understand people without being able to communicate with them in person.
Humour can help you communicate when you are unable to see a person’s full nonverbal communication. The more you make someone laugh, the more they will put their protections down and prick their own bubble of pomposity. When these barriers are broken, communication becomes much easier. The more you laugh with someone, the more you can rely on informal communication that is often more clear and easier to understand when communicating virtually.
Laugh Away the Lonely
Working remotely can get lonely. You may have a difficult time establishing friendships with those you work with, and the opportunity for after-work plans diminishes when you work from home. Laughter is a proven way to increase the happy chemicals in your brain. Finding time to share a laugh with your coworkers can help you feel less lonely when working outside of the office. Broadcaster and author René Carayol says,
“As many of us are working from home, it’s even more important. Checking in to see how someone is and having a moment to just see you, have a laugh, a bit of brevity, break some of the monotony of the moment, especially if it’s from your line manager. How wonderful is that? They’re not coming in to say how’s the KPIs, how’s the old profit line but to just have a laugh and laugh at themselves? If the boss laughs at themselves, everyone relaxes a little bit more, tries a little bit harder.”
Cultivate Creativity With Virtual Coworkers
Remote work often comes with a sense of freedom to do your job on your terms. When you add the feeling of freedom with humour, you have the perfect storm for creativity. Even when working virtually, when you allow yourself to try new things without the fear of failure, you may find your best work yet. Working with a sense of humour from home can help you establish a flow of creativity that can make you more efficient from your house or flat.
Working from home with humour is the perfect balance of creative freedom and workplace culture connection. Start sprinkling humour into your virtual communications and see how a laugh can help connect you to your coworkers and your company from wherever you decide to do your work.
I have a good friend who, when working from home, created her own Virtual Meeting Bingo Card and distributed it to everyone before they dialled into a conference call. They then had a competition to see who completed the row or diagonal first. Here were some of the things she had on the bingo card:
Can everyone see my screen?
Sorry, I was on mute.
Animal appears on screen.
Two people talk over each other.
Sorry, I have to jump on another call.
She said that it really it was one of the most fun meetings they ever had and the team still talk (and laugh) about it today.
What can you do to have more of a Humourology Attitude (HA)? If you can poke fun at yourself and see the funny side, you too can work from home and create a House of Fun.
Talking of fun, we are still getting lots of love for this brilliant early interview with the magnificent Mark Bedford from Madness.
See you next Tuesday,
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