Almost Nine Out Of 10 Workers Surveyed Think Their Bosses Have A Good Sense Of Humor

MENLO PARK, CA, Aug. 8, 2007 -- According to a new survey, the workplace loves a leader who can laugh, and most bosses seem ready to deliver the punch line. Ninety-seven percent of professionals polled feel it is important for managers to have a sense of humor. Employers appear to have received the message: 87 percent of workers said their supervisors do indeed have a funny bone.

The survey was developed by Robert Half, the world’s first and largest staffing service specializing in accounting, finance and information technology. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 492 full- or part-time workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Workers were asked, “How important do you think it is for managers to have a sense of humor?” Their responses:

Very important 65%

Somewhat important 32%

Not important at all 3%


Workers also were asked, “Does your manager have a good sense of humor?” Their responses:

Yes 87%

No 10%

Don’t know/no answer 3%


“Managers who can laugh at themselves or difficult situations are often seen as more approachable and in touch with the challenges their teams face,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies®, 2nd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Levity also can be used to build rapport among staff and ease stressful situations.”

Messmer cautioned that while people enjoy working for someone who has a good sense of humor, too much clowning can have the opposite effect. “To be taken seriously, supervisors must balance their desire to keep the mood light with the need to accomplish business objectives, inspire great performance and maintain professionalism.”

Robert Half has more than 350 staffing locations in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services at

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