How many times have you laughed today?

If research is anything to go by, the answer will be, not as much as you should have done.

We're told that people are so overwhelmed by the gloom they read and hear on the TV and newspapers that we're forgetting to laugh.

I say "forgetting" because, as kids, we were masters at laughing. Research, again, suggests that, while adults laugh on average 15 times a day, small children manage up to 400 laughs a day.

But, if you need a reason to laugh, research also suggests that there are very positive workplace benefits, chief among them being that it can lead to greater creativity at work.

Goran Ekvall, professor of organisational psychology at Lund University in Sweden, says that laughter is an essential ingredient for workplace innovation. When comparing the creativity of various departments of a Swedish newspaper, Ekvall found that the most creative teams were those that had a high level of laughter and humour.

This is why Tom Peters says that you can measure an organisation's creativity from its laughometer.

There are many other reasons why laughter is good for you.

- laughter releases serotonin, the "feel-good" hormone, into your brain
- laughter helps you connect to others. It's one of the best rapport-building tools around.
- laughter massages your inner organs
- laughter can help you lose weight by burning off fat
- laughter helps your immune system work better.

Madhuri Kataria, who created the idea of World Laughter Day, says, "There is an epidemic of seriousness that is raging all over the world. People seem to think that being grim-faced and serious is the only way to show commitment at work."

It reminds me of that Red Indian proverb, "When you get to heaven, most people ask themselves, "Why was I so serious?"."

So, here, to raise your serotonin, build your team, and increase your organisation's creativity, is one of my favourite jokes of the moment. Read it and laugh. Or read it 400 times today and laugh.

A young man, hired by a supermarket, reported for his first day of work. The manager greeted him with a warm handshake and a smile, gave him a broom and said, "Your first job will be to sweep out the store." "But I'm a college graduate." the young man replied indignantly. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know that," said the manager. "Here, give me the broom, I'll show you how."

Author's Bio: 

Eric Garner is one of the foremost leaders in management and personal development with a personal guarantee to make you a better manager, trainer, and learner. His company, ManageTrainLearn, runs corporate training programmes in the UK and since 2002 has published a website at that provides a wide range of exclusive digital learning products, including online courses for managers. Eric has a simple mission: to turn his clients into the best professionals in their business.