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How to be funny at work

Ever wished you were the one making the witty comeback in the middle of a meeting? When used correctly, office humour could help your career - but joke your way through your next conference call and you could find yourself clutching a P45. So we asked Dr Judith Baxter of Aston University to explain how to use office humour the right way.

1. DO use banter

This helps you to identify with colleagues, build solidarity and become one of the team – often, a running gag is the best way to do this.

2. DO Use a bit of light relief

Use tension-breaking humour to lighten up situations that have become tense.

3. DO use humour on the move

laugh with with colleagues while you make a cup of tea - this makes you appear accessible and good company.

4. DO recognise when to close down a funny conversation

Especially if you are in charge of a meeting and need to press on.

5. DON’T use humour to put others down

Nobody likes to be made a fool of.

6. DON’T laugh at your own jokes

Let other people judge how funny you are.

7. DON’T use laughter as a ‘filler’ when people don’t greet your comments positively

You’ll appear nervous.

8. DON’T be aloof

Never sit aloof and unsmiling while colleagues are bantering – join in if you can

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