Half of Canadian Workers Rely on Humour to Alleviate Workplace Stress

    It's April Fool's Day: workopolis.com helps Canada manage humour on the

    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - Tomorrow is April Fool's Day, the nationally
recognized day for humour, jokes and pranks. And it looks like working
Canadians will welcome the day - according to a recent poll by workopolis.com,
Canada's leading provider of internet recruitment and job search solutions,
46 per cent of Canadians report that pranks are accepted or encouraged in
their workplace, and another half (45%) say that humour at work is used to
alleviate pressure and control stress. But Canadians should also remember that
humour gone wrong in the workplace can hurt you in the long run.
    "Canadians want and need humour on the job, and what better day to
celebrate this than April Fool's Day," said Patrick Sullivan, President of
Workopolis. "Although we tend to bend the rules on April 1st, there is still
an underlying humour etiquette that workers should be aware of. Pranks taken
too far on the job can be detrimental to your career."
    To help Canadians in their quest for appropriate office fun,
workopolis.com is releasing its Humour Classification Report - a guide to
humour on the job. With varying personalities and thresholds for humour in
today's workplaces, Workopolis aims to ensure that humour is still
work-appropriate this April Fool's Day.

    Workopolis' Humour Classification Report:

    This year Workopolis provides information about who is doing the joking
and how to do humour right this April Fool's Day.

    -   Sarcastic/witty jokester: This workplace comedian may appear to have
        it easy with a punch line for every situation, but humour isn't
        always the right solution. While it tends comes across as witty and
        clever, if done too often or gone wrong, his humour can be perceived
        as sarcastic. He isn't shy to add colour commentary in any and all
        situations - in front of the boss, colleagues or whomever. And
        because of the witty approach to his humour, he is confident in his
        delivery and always gets a laugh.

        -  Workopolis' advice: Think before you joke. Evaluate the situation,
           your audience and your injection of humour. Will it get a laugh
           from most of the room? Will it take the meeting off strategy? Are
           you interrupting and offending anyone? Keeping quiet could be the
           best approach in serious situations, meetings or environments.

    -   Obnoxious or inappropriate joker: She's easy to identify since there
        is often an uncomfortable silence that follows her humour. And she
        doesn't hesitate to incorporate her humour into any situation. She
        has a hard time differentiating between workplace humour and social
        humour and often crosses the line with inappropriate language and
        subject matters. Don't follow her lead this April Fool's Day!

        -  Workopolis' advice: You are still at work, and what may get a
           laugh with your friends, isn't always appropriate with your
           colleagues. Avoid topics that really don't lend themselves to
           humour - anything you'd be afraid to say to your mother, doesn't
           belong in the workplace either. Evaluate each situation and assess
           the room before you open with a punch line. Your colleagues will
           appreciate your humour more if you use it cautiously.

    -   Trying too hard to be funny jokester: He's often relying on humour to
        get attention and lighten uncomfortable situations. He rarely hears
        the laugh track after his punch line, but that only pushes him to try
        harder. His comments and attempts at humour distract the audience
        more than amuse. According to the Workopolis April Fool's Day poll,
        only two per cent of Canadians believe humour should be used at work
        to get attention or stand out from others. That means this approach
        to workplace humour is in the minority and more people are
        uncomfortable with your humour than approve.

        -  Workopolis' advice: You don't have to have the last word, and you
           certainly don't need to make a comment every time you're in the
           room. The more you say, the less funny you are, and the fewer
           laughs you'll get. Try other techniques to earn respect from your
           colleagues and save your humour for the right or best situation.
           In this case, less is more.

    -   The Prankster: This joker often relies on physical practical jokes to
        get a reaction from his colleagues. He is clever in his approach and
        aims to trick people - whether turning to email sabotage, rearranging
        office furniture, whoopee cushions or crank phone calls. Be weary of
        this workplace comic.

        -  Workopolis' advice: April Fool's Day was made for you! Be sure you
           know your audience well and understand the limitations of
           workplace pranks. Before your prank, do your research and find out
           if it's acceptable to pull a practical joke on the boss. Often
           your humour involves tricking people one at a time, so make sure
           your victims can handle your sense of humour.

    -   Putting it all on the line funny: This prankster goes a step beyond
        "Trying too hard to be funny". She stops at nothing to get a laugh -
        even at the expense of her career or colleagues. She often spends
        more time crafting the right prank instead of focusing on her work.
        She's willing to embarrass herself in front of room full of
        colleagues to get attention. April Fool's Day is a dangerous day for
        this workplace clown as she feels it's a no holds barred-type of day.

        -  Workopolis' advice: Re-evaluate your career - maybe you were more
           suited for the life of a comedian? While work environments are
           finding more room for humour, not all corporate cultures tolerate
           yours. Understand what's acceptable and appropriate in your work
           environment before you go too far. Tone it down and save up more
           of your humour and pranks for outside of work social situations.

    More from the poll:

    According to the Workopolis April Fool's Day poll:

    -   Quebec workplaces tolerate and encourage humour the most as
        three-quarters (76%) report acceptance of pranks on the job, versus
        46 per cent of Canadians.
    -   Interestingly, British Columbians report the least amount of
        job-related practical jokes - with only one-third (30 per cent)
        citing it is acceptable to pull a prank on a colleague.
    -   One-third (37%) of working Canadians believe that humour is used to
        bond with colleagues;
        -  Six per cent cite humour as a way to bridge hierarchy or authority
           within the workplace;
        -  Only two per cent feel humour is used to get attention or stand
           out from the crowd.

    The rules of humour at work:

    While each work environment has its own specific approach to humour and
pranks on the job, workopolis.com offers the following advice to those
planning a prank this April Fool's Day or any day of the year:

    -   Know your corporate culture: While there may not be a formal rule in
        place, do your research first and find out how tolerant your
        workplace is of practical jokes. If it's not widely accepted,
        reconsider your plans for April 1st. If it is allowed, know your

    -   Know who's off limits: Though half of working Canadians report their
        workplaces allow pranks, does that include the boss? Your manager?
        Your subordinates? Recognize who has a sense of humour, who will
        appreciate your humour and who you should avoid.

    -   Know how far you can go: It may be just a joke, but more importantly,
        you're still at work and should use cautious judgement before you go
        too far. Ask yourself if the prank was played on you, would you find
        it funny? Can this prank only be tested on certain colleagues? If the
        answer to either of these questions is no, reconsider your practical

    -   Know when the timing is right: Even if you work for an environment
        that encourages humour and pranks, there is a time and a place for
        everything. Consider: are your colleagues on deadline? Are there
        clients or important guests in your office? Is it too tense and a
        practical joke will push them over the edge? What kind of a message
        will you send if it's your first day of work and you're the
        originator of a workplace prank?

    -   Know what to do if you've gone too far: You may take every necessary
        precaution to ensure humour is used appropriately at work, but it can
        still backfire. First, find out where you went wrong - was the timing
        off? Did you target the wrong person? If you offended someone
        specifically, formally apologize.

    About Workopolis:

    Workopolis is Canada's largest and most popular Internet recruiting and
job search solutions provider with over 3.5 million unique visitors monthly in
Canada and twice as many job postings as the nearest competitor.

    Workopolis provides a fully bilingual suite of award-winning applications,
products and services to both large and small Canadian companies:

    -   workopolis.com(TM), Canada's biggest job site - with the most jobs,
        visitors and employers of any Canadian job site plus, intuitive
        screening tools and powerful resumé database search tools help
        connect employers with the "best fit" candidates faster and more
    -   workopolisCampus.com, Canada's biggest job site for students and
        recent graduates.
    -   CorporateWorks(TM), Canada's most implemented recruitment management
        solution using the tools that power workopolis.com to power corporate
        career sites.
    -   Workopolis customers also have access to approximately 100
        professional and trade associations

    Workopolis is a partnership of Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd. and Gesca
Ltd., the newspaper publishing subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.
Workopolis has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Guelph,
Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

    Workopolis is the exclusive Official Supplier of Online Recruitment
Services for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

For further information:

For further information: Jill Anzarut, Environics Communications, (416)
969-2708; Or Amy Davidson, Environics Communications, (416) 969-2830

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