One of my favorite things to do at a party or even at a casual gathering of family and friends is to start a written list of “memorable statements.” Some of my all-time favorites are “This wine smells like my grandfather’s dirty socks,” “Where did you get your San Francisco t-shirt?” and, the reigning leader, “Never feed a horse Vienna Sausages.” By paying attention and capturing these sound bites of life, we are immortalizing those joyous moments together. This fun, easy tactic can be replicated at work! Start making that list on your phone or have the entire staff contribute on the breakroom whiteboard. Select the “quote of the day,” “phrase of the week,” or “sound bite of the month” where you highlight the most memorable statement, question, or comment. This is a way to bring some fun and levity to the office environment by making note of the everyday bloopers, wisdom, and yes, even customers’ most outrageous comments that come from the sidelines. Remember to avoid using quotes that will make an employee feel embarrassed.
At an average of 40 hours per week, most Americans spend roughly 22 percent (based on certain variables) of their life at work. That is a huge investment!
Let’s face it, work can be stressful. Between looming deadlines, long hours, a never-ending task list, and mentally and/or physically demanding work, our jobs can drain us. While a certain amount of stress is normal and even healthy, continual long-term stress can lead to issues in the workplace, such as lack of motivation, decreased productivity, an increase in mistakes, and decreased concentration. The effects from stress at work can even trickle home, causing increased muscle tension and gastrointestinal issues, insomnia and other sleep issues, strained relationships, and a general lack of well-being.
Humor and laughter is one of the best ways to combat stress. Did you know that laughing can actually lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, improve cardiac health, and trigger the release of endorphins? Laughter in the office can also increase team bonding and provide a much needed respite from a day full of reports, emails, and meetings. This week, take the time to collect some of the funny, interesting, or just downright silly things your team, customers, vendors, or others say. Write them on a dry erase or chalk board or keep track of them in a small notebook. You could even collect them on a sticky note or scrap piece of paper and keep them in a jar. Everyone loves the bloopers and misquotes at the end of a movie or TV show. Having your own real-life blooper reel at work will provide some personalized entertainment that is sure to elicit a few laughs!
This week, I challenge you to be intentional and keep an ear out around the office. Document the entertaining things you hear coming from your team. Use them at a future meeting or get together to share some laughs and spread merriment among your team. Now it’s time to go cheer on your team!
FUN FACT: The term "blooper" was popularized in America by television producer Kermit Schaefer in the 1950s. Schaefer produced a long-running series of Pardon My Blooper! record albums in the 1950s and 1960s which featured a mixture of actual recordings of errors from television and radio broadcasts and re-creations. Schaefer also transcribed many reported bloopers into a series of books that he published up until his death in 1979.