Get All Access for $5/mo

Here's a Reminder: Laughter Makes Meetings Better Group rapport and camaraderie translates to innovation, creativity and new solutions.

By Nina Zipkin

Were you the class clown in school? We're guessing it got you banished to the back of the class. But according to a recent study, cracking jokes in the office with your co-workers could help you get ahead in the office, as humor can actually make the workplace more productive.

The researchers behind the study, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, a professor of psychology at VU University Amsterdam and Joseph A. Allen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nebraska, took a look at several German companies. They recorded 54 "regular organizational team meetings" and then tracked them to find the patterns of jokes and laughter.

Related: 7 Personality Types That Can Make or Break Your Meeting

With those observations, along with performance reviews from the employee's managers after the meetings (as well as a later time), the professors found that "humor patterns triggered positive socioemotional communication, procedural structure, and new solutions." Meaning that what you thought was just kidding around and simple camaraderie could actually lead to more creativity and innovation in everyone's work. This improved team performance, both in the present time and two years later.

However, the researchers found that there were a couple of caveats. It wasn't just jokes or laughter that contributed to the positive reviews, but rather a group rapport that led to the humor patterns: joke, laughter, another joke. Additionally, when job security wasn't an issue, Lehmann-Willenbrock and Allen found that "humor patterns were positively related to performance but during times of higher job insecurity, humor played less of a role in in the team performance."

Related: 10 Ways to Engage Your Audience During an Important Meeting

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Solutions

Increase Productivity with This Microsoft 365 Subscription, Now $25 Off

It can make the entrepreneur life a lot easier.

Business News

Apple Pay Later Is Ending. Here's What's Taking Its Place.

The program was available for less than a year.

Leadership

This Artist Answered a Businessman's 'Powerful' Question — Then His Work Became 'the Poster Child for Juneteenth': 'Your Network Really Becomes Your Net Worth'

Reginald Adams was the executive director of a Houston-based art museum for more than a decade before he decided to launch his own public art and design firm.

Leadership

Harvard Business School Professor Says 65% of Startups Fail for One Reason. Here's How to Avoid It.

Team alignment isn't nice to have -- it's critical for running a successful business.

Business News

Here's What Companies Are Open and Closed on Juneteenth 2024

Since it became a holiday in 2021, Juneteenth has been recognized by some major corporations as a paid day off.

Growing a Business

I Hit $100 Million in Annual Revenue by Being More Transparent — Here Are the 3 Strategies That Helped Me Succeed

Three road-tested ways to be more transparent and build relationships that can transform your business — without leaving you feeling nightmarishly over-exposed.