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HRM CA | 20 Dec 2016, 08:00 AM Agree 0
There’s an easy solution to both stress and workplace conflicts, insists one leading academic.
  • Jessica | 20 Dec 2016, 08:54 AM Agree 0
    Humour is good but not a solution that fits all problems. I work in a high-stress, profit-driven consulting firm where you either show results or you're out. Every time there's a layoff, the next day all managers are joking and laughing, pretending that nothing has happened, while staff members are trying to cope with the new situation. I compare it to grieving as survivors. So humour is not a good remedy and ends up hurting people.
  • Laura | 27 Dec 2016, 02:48 PM Agree 0
    On one hand, I agree that humour is important and that laughing and keeping a positive vibe in the workplace is important.

    I worked in a community services, not-for-profit organization that was becoming psychologically toxic due to some very poor decisions from the top.
    Our community director was key in keeping us from all spiralling into a very dark place. Her sense of humour and bright outlook was appreciated but if I didn't have confidence in her and her leadership then I think I may have felt worse- like the situation that was described by Jessica.

    Despite the best efforts of all of the jokesters and comedians that I worked with, several people ended up leaving, myself included.

    Humour is not the answer, it's just a coping mechanism. Sure it's helpful, but I think there are some workplace dynamics that simply cannot be tolerated. In my situation (and in Jessica's, it would seem) the workplace was very unstable, high uncertainty/low security and we had little to no control over our fate.

    You can only find humour in that for so long.
    Paul: "Hahaha, hey Mary, if they lay you off first, Im taking your chair. Mine doesn't have a lumber cushion."
    Mary: "ok, but if you get laid off first, then I'm taking my chair and moving over into your corner office!"

    Good times!
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