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Reduce Stress and Strengthen Social Bonds With a Little Laughter

March 29, 2019 / Employee Experience

Written By: Jennifer Cook

Whether you’re a seasoned prankster or treat April Fools’ Day just like any other day, there may be some hidden health benefits to joking around.

Laugh It Up

Experts say the health benefits of laughter can be both short and long term. Laughter can:

  • Stimulate organs by increasing intake of oxygen-rich air
  • Increase the release of endorphins that create positive feelings
  • Reduce physical symptoms of stress and tension
  • Bolster the immune system by releasing neuropeptides, which help fight illness
  • Improve mood and feelings of happiness

Laughter can also benefit employees as a team. Laughter can be contagious, so when one employee laughs, it can spread to the whole group. When a group of employees laughs together, it can strengthen social bonds.

It should go without saying but jokes or pranks are never funny when mean-spirited in nature. Laughter should never be at someone else’s expense – especially in a professional environment.

Now that we’ve established the ground rules, go ahead and spread a little laughter among your coworkers. After all, it’s good for you!

Good-Natured Pranks for the Office, From the Office

Take a cue from one of this generation’s greatest pranksters, Jim Halpert, the fictional character from the U.S. TV series “The Office.” Not all of Jim’s pranks are office-appropriate, but here are two good-natured pranks that can easily be recreated this April Fools’ Day:

1. Wrap It Up

Wrap a co-worker’s desk, chair and desk supplies in Christmas wrapping paper. Don’t do what Jim did and recreate the desk and chair in cardboard so they collapse.

2. The Magically Moving Desk

Every time a coworker leaves the room, move their desk an inch in the same direction.

Warning: A harmless prank could start a prank war, so be prepared for the consequences. Virgin Pulse will not be held accountable as an accomplice.

Want to spread a little joy in the workplace? Get Dr. Laurie Santos’ expert tips for driving lasting, positive culture change at your organization.

About The Author

Jennifer Cook is a senior copywriter at Virgin Pulse. Her passions include sarcasm, hockey, dogs, queso, and being left alone to read.

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