Remote work culture is constantly changing. Unlike pants, humor is a necessity for dealing with this change. As companies continue to face the challenge of keeping their remote teams motivated and connected, a first-of-its-kind online learning experience reveals why there’s hope in humor and how you can use humor to transform your own virtual teams.
In a fun-filled Facebook live event, Naomi Bagdonas and Connor Diemand-Yauman, instructors for the Remotely Humorous: Build Joyful and Resilient Virtual Teams With Humor Professional Certificate program and leading experts who have taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, revealed some of the science behind why humor is such a superpower in the remote work world. Keep reading to learn more or watch the video below for the full talk.
Your Brain on Humor: A Powerful Cocktail of Hormones
When we laugh with colleagues, it turns out we’re not just having fun—our brains are serving up a powerful hormone cocktail that has unparalleled effects on our neurochemistry and behaviors.
“Humor is a superpower that literally changes our bodies and our brains,” Bagdonas said. “It changes the chemistry of our brains to make us more primed for connections, more creative and resourceful, and more resilient to stress, all of which are crucial for virtual teams.”
How Laughter Creates Bonds, Increases Creativity and Resilience, and Gives You Power
When we laugh, our brains release a cocktail of hormones that make us feel happier, less stressed, slightly euphoric, and more trusting. Bagdonas and Diemand-Yauman shared some of the greatest hits of the science and research behind how humor can improve our remote work world.
- Form Bonds: Laughter’s power to create bonds is closely tied to the brain’s release of oxytocin, a chemical that creates feelings of closeness and trust.
- Be More Creative: Laughter reduces the secretion of cortisol in our brains, which makes us more relaxed and creative. Cortisol is the body’s fight or flight mode and when we’re in that mode, we can’t access higher-order thinking. Researchers have found that even the anticipation of laughing has been shown to decrease cortisol by 39% and epinephrine by 70%, making us feel safer, calmer, and less stressed.
- Boost Resilience: Laughter boosts our resilience, insulating us from stressors in our lives and allowing us to bounce back more quickly from setbacks. In a study where half of the participants were put in an eight-week program teaching skills related to using humor in everyday life, those in the skills group, as opposed to the control group, reported fewer instances of depression, lower stress, a higher proportion of positive to negative feelings, and even increased perception of control.
- Power Up: Using humor well enhances others’ perception of our status and intelligence, influencing their behavior and decision making and making our ideas more memorable. In a survey of over 700 executives, 98% preferred employees with a sense of humor and 84% believed humorous employees do better work.
Late Night Comedy Meets World-Class Higher Education
What do you get when you combine behavioral science, sketch comedy, and best-in-class instruction? The never-been-done-before Professional Certificate program Remotely Humorous, perfect for companies looking to provide their teams and leaders with tools to make the best of this tough situation, or for individuals who could benefit from injecting humor into their professional development.
Through engaging content and interactive team building activities, the program transforms teams to become more joyful, bonded, and resilient. No trust-falls necessary! Learn more about this fun, highly interactive program tailored to this moment in history and created with a team of writers from comedy institutions like The Onion, Comedy Central, and Funny or Die.
Register now for HumorX’s Remotely Humorous Professional Certificate program and courses.
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