Video conferences have been going on for about 20 years. Before the pandemic, people rarely had to attend online meetings, but today, we hold video conferences every day that are 100% virtual.
This is a problem that technology cannot solve. Much of our well-being and what makes us productive is related to physical proximity.
Removing this proximity at any time of the year can cause serious damage. For example, one of the victims of social distance is laughter.
Usually, a person laughs 18 times a day. And 97% of that time, happens in the company of others. Think about it, when was the last time you came up with a funny idea and laughed out loud?
Now, remember, when you laugh at something with others, how ridiculous is this or that fact? It may come as a surprise, but research has shown that 80% of what people laugh about is not funny at all.
Why do people laugh? Because others laugh.
Laughing in response to others is not just a behavioral phenomenon. When we laugh, two important chemicals are released in our bodies.
First, our pituitary gland secretes endorphins into our bloodstream, where they reach the brain and spine. Endorphins help relieve pain and pleasure.
Second, it is dopamine – a neurotransmitter that creates a feeling of euphoria. Dopamine can enhance learning, motivation, and attention.
The benefits of laughing and the overall health benefits of the neurochemicals involved include improving immune function, relieving stress, improving cardiovascular health, reducing anxiety, feeling safe, and improving mood.
Laughter is also associated with high motivation and productivity at work. Isolation greatly hindered social interaction, leading to laughter and consequently a reduction in these beneficial chemicals.
For you and your team members to be healthy and productive, you need to laugh as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you have to become a comedian. You need to take targeted steps:
- 1. Most leaders think that they need to make all virtual interactions as fast and efficient as possible. During isolation, an important part of a leader’s work is to connect the team socially, psychologically, and emotionally, and not just to do the job. Laughter is one of the best ways to connect emotionally with a team.
- Laughter is as contagious as it is contagious. There’s nothing simple about challenging laughter in a team when you first start laughing. However, just as people can distinguish between a real and a fake smile, they notice a difference between a real and a forceful laugh.
- Be positive. Before the meeting, try to make yourself laugh, even for a few seconds, it would be good to watch a funny video.
We hope to find the Coronavirus vaccine soon so that one day we can return to natural social interaction.