Is it Okay to Laugh? Understanding How Stifling Humor Can Also Stifle Workplace Productivity

2020 Annual Conference & Exposition
Encouraging humor in the workplace while preventing harassing, discriminatory or inappropriate behavior can be a hefty challenge.

The job of Human Resources leaders is to foster a safe, effective and happy work environment. The challenge?  Allowing employees to show happiness through laughter while also being aware that some humor may be considered offensive or inappropriate. Where is the line in the sand drawn? And who draws it? Join Greg Schwem in a lively session featuring stand-up comedy, true stories of jokes that missed their marks and video clips featuring events of workplace incidents that became major news events though they start as “just a joke.” Greg discusses the physical and mental benefits of laughing at work, and explores the problems that can arise when one employee finds a text, a meme, a video, etc. hilarious while another finds it offensive.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the value of humor in the workplace.
  • Learn why employees want to laugh at work but are often afraid to, fearful of how their laughter might be interpreted.
  • Explore the lack of definition around what makes something “funny” or “inappropriate.”
Date(s) & Time(s): 
Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 3:45pm to 5:00pm

Greg Schwem


The Huffington Post calls Greg Schwem, “Your boss’ favorite comedian.” That’s because Greg’s clean, razor-sharp wit and family-man stage presence has made him a favorite for corporate audiences worldwide. More than just a speaker, Greg is also a best-selling author, nationally syndicated humor columnist for the Chicago Tribune and award-winning greeting card writer.

As a corporate entertainer, Greg’s clients have included Microsoft, McDonald’s, Southwest Airline and even the CIA. And when he travels, Greg often stays at Airbnb and other “home sharing” properties, treks that have resulted in a hilarious, ongoing web series, A Comedian Crashes Your Pad.

Session Type: 
Concurrent Session
HR Expertise
Leadership & Navigation
Relationship Management
Hide from On Demand: