Laughter is said to be the best medicine. Most employers are happy to find employees with a good sense of humour, because it allows them to relate to their co-workers, and they can help improve staff morale. However, many jokes are not appropriate in the workplace, and there are some lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Here are some jokes that you should NEVER make at work:
Jokes that are sexist, racist, or discriminate against any group. If you make these jokes, you will be out the door before you can even get to the punch line.
Jokes that are at the expense of your manager, co-workers, or customers. Even people who are laughing probably think that you are a jerk. Also, if someone hears that you were making fun of them, it will likely cause irreparable damage to the relationship.
Jokes that are of a sexual nature. At best, you run the risk of making your co-workers feel uncomfortable. At worst, these jokes can get you fired, sued, or even criminally charged. Is your witty remark really worth it?
Jokes that reveal a bad attitude, or that you don’t care about organizational goals. While you may truly be just joking, others may perceive your joke as an indication that you are unprofessional. Someone may also quote your words to your manager, and your silly little joke could limit your career growth.
It is important to make an effort to relate to your co-workers, and to let them get to know you. However, you need to keep in mind that it is a workplace and that everyone has the right to feel comfortable. If you have any doubts at all, it is probably best to keep your mouth shut!
(Written by Karen Bivand)