Sanjeev Satgainya


How often do you get stressed out during work? Do overload and repetitive tasks attack you as boredom? Meeting deadlines or not enough time to breathe freely are some common things that we face in today’s workplaces.In a competitive market, organisations want to outdo others but how much brainpower is complying with that is also an important point to be pondered on. How do employees get motivated despite long and tiring hours of work? Or what keeps them energised and rejuvenated to deal with several tasks is really a big question for the management.

Fun and humour at workplace could be one of the best medicines to relieve monotony and boredom. Sujit Mundul, chief executive, Standard Chartered Bank Nepal, says, “Of course employees need to be refreshed, energised and always ready to take on challenge. Fun at workplace could be one of the very good sources of keeping them revitalised. It plays a vital role in turning some serious situations into lighter ones rejuvenating people to think better.”

Some people are good at humour by nature. They not only are refreshed and chuckling but also make the surrounding a wonderful place to work in. Good sense of humour attracts bosses as well as subordinates and colleagues, which results in fair, nice and productive output.Companies too can create some environment to make workplace a wonderful place to stay back and work in. Prashant Ghimire, sales officer in a private firm, shares, “Get into office, pour over file, converse with different people and then sign out and get into bed at home. The result — I have headache, dizziness and sometimes I don’t even feel like going to the office.”Repetitive tasks and rote work give rise to boredom. Failure to achieve something also gives rise to monotony. A receptionist continuously answering phone calls or a computer technician failing to sort out a small but tricky problem, marketers following up same things, writers running out of ideas are some of the examples which are repetition-induced slacking. Having some boredom-breaking activities can lead to creativity and a tolerance for carrying out tedious repetitive tasks.Mundul says, “A joke or jocular activity makes one forget all the tension immediately. Sketch someone’s face while he in a very tensed mood and show him telling how he looks in tensed situation. Small things work unbelievably.”Games in between work, jokes, conversation, etc, break the boredom and employees feel like coming back to work again. Companies can organise some fun games, establish small game rooms, simple quizzes and competitions in weekly or fortnightly basis. Nirvan Chaudhary, chief executive, CG-FINCO, shares, “Too much formal environment make an unproductive workplace. I emphasise on an informal work environment and organising get-togethers to talk about official and unofficial subjects. It helps employees cope with problems with better end-results.”But there are some really serious factors as well. Fun at workplace is fine but what kind of fun one should enjoy at workplace must be distinguished. Mundul explains, “Fun things should be light and proper. It should not be offensive and most importantly these are spontaneous acts, cannot be planned.”Fun and work, as some people believe are opposite and they never go hand in hand. But this barrier is almost broken and management pundits have started feeling that for productive results, fun and humour are essential.

Shiva Prasad Basyal, yoga psychologist and a research scholar on depression, advises, “We are always influenced by past experiences and when we get isolated even for a moment from that, it helps in sensitisation and energises us to perform better. Breaks, fun and humour are essential at workplaces. Even after tiring work, one can take a break taking long breaths to get energised.” It is a proven fact that laughter releases endorphins that are more powerful than morphine. These endorphins can lead to a sense of well-being and optimism. In addition, humour and laughter can even bridge the gap between total strangers.

Smile, giggle, burst into laughter

• People smile only 35 per cent of what they think they do.

• Laughter releases endorphins, a chemical 10 times more powerful than morphine, into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise.

• Every time you have a hearty laugh, you burn up three-and-half calories.

• Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells.

• Laughing increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress.