How much do some people hate meetings? Seventeen percent say they’d literally rather watch paint dry than attend one. So, it’s not surprising that we’re tempted, on occasion, to goof off a little during meetings. Well, here’s some good news – that might not be all bad. There are actually some benefits to goofing off a little. Let’s take a closer look.
(Photo Credit: locusresearch/Flickr)
1. It could boost your performance.
A little humor goes a long way. A study done by the VU University of Amsterdam and the University of Nebraska at Omaha found that humorous meetings lead to new ideas and improved communication. Humor bonds groups together; it can boost morale and communication and increase job satisfaction.
“From an evolutionary perspective, one could argue that humans have developed humor and laughter as group behaviors because they promote social bonding and group cohesion,” Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, the study’s lead author, told Entrepreneur. “Our analysis shows that humor patterns trigger functional, ‘healthy’ group behaviors during the team interaction process.”
2. It actually is important to have fun at work.
There are a lot of benefits to having friends at work. Research has shown it makes employees happier, but you probably don’t need much convincing that enjoying your co-workers helps the day run a little smoother. It’s important to take our work (and our meetings) seriously, yes, but it’s also important to have some fun at work so that we can continue to invest our time and energies there, happily.
Research has found that doodling isn’t distracting; it actually improves creativity and focus. In fact, if you’re a doodler, you’re in excellent company. Like former President Bill Clinton, President Obama is a doodler. He said, in a 2012 interview, as reported by the New York Post that he likes to doodle faces: “So, sometimes when I’m in a big, important international meeting and you see me writing stuff down, it might be that I’m just drawing some, drawing some folks.”
4. It helps everyone lighten up.
During periods of high stress (which seem to come all too often in the modern workplace) it’s important to add some levity and fun to the day in order to reduce tension. Ultimately, we’ll be more productive if we can relax a little and lighten up about the pressures and disappointments of the day. There are only so many hours available to us after working-hours for exercise, sleep, mindfulness practices, or other things to help us stay happy and balanced. Enjoying the work day a little, and having some fun, could help bridge the gaps.
It’s important, of course, to be respectful and not to be disruptive during meetings. You always want to be professional and courteous at work; but, adding a little humor and fun to your workday gatherings, as long as it’s done within those constraints, could actually help not hurt your team’s mood, cohesion, and performance. So, enjoy!
Tell Us What You Think
Do you goof off during meetings? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.