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3 reasons you need to laugh at work, according to the CEO of Comedy Dynamics

Brian Volk-Weiss
Courtesy of Comedy Dynamics
Brian Volk-Weiss

Brian Volk-Weiss knows how to laugh.

As the CEO of Comedy Dynamics, the largest producer and distributor of independent comedy in the world, he has worked with the likes of Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Jim Gaffigan, Katt Williams and more.

Volk-Weiss shot to success, a word he shies away from using, by foreseeing the future of streaming. After reading Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More" in 2006, he realized that technology would make owning content more valuable than simply producing it.

As a result, Comedy Dynamics started funding comedy specials in order to maintain ownership rights, instead of simply charging a production fee, like its competitors. That gamble paid off — Volk-Weiss eventually owned the largest library of independent comedy in the world, and Comedy Dynamics became an entirely vertically integrated comedy company.

Today, the company's content is available on most streaming platforms and in 2016, the Comedy Dynamics-produced album "Louis C.K. Live At Madison Square Garden" won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album.

According to Volk-Weiss, comedy doesn't just belong onstage — even when it's your business. Every company can benefit from incorporating comedy into their workplace. "Some say that manners are the glue of society, and I definitely believe that to be true; but I also think that comedy is the glue of a business," says Volk-Weiss.

Here are three reasons you need comedy in the workplace:

Brian Volk-Weiss and Craig Ferguson. Comedy Dynamics' first cable series “Join or Die” starring Craig Ferguson will premiere on Thursday, February 18th, 2016 on the History Channel.
Courtesy of Comedy Dynamics
Brian Volk-Weiss and Craig Ferguson. Comedy Dynamics' first cable series “Join or Die” starring Craig Ferguson will premiere on Thursday, February 18th, 2016 on the History Channel.

Communicate

People always say "our business has a shorthand," says Volk-Weiss, but the CEO explains that one of the easiest ways to develop a shorthand is to bond people through comedy. "Except for maybe combat, nothing will bond your organization more than laughing at the same thing."

To use comedy to help your team communicate more efficiently, Volk-Weiss recommends embracing the popular culture that your employees enjoy. If your office loves Guardians of the Galaxy, watch it together. If your co-workers can't stop talking about Louis C.K., embrace it — it will help get your team on the same page and help everyone communicate more effectively.

Louis C.K.
NBC | Getty Images
Louis C.K.

Increase productivity, cut costs

Employees who know how to have a good time with each other are actually more productive, says the CEO. "If two colleagues can work together in a stressful environment and still goof off, their end product will be even better."

Simply put, happy employees produce better results, and there is a constantly growing body of evidence that suggests that positive work environments are good both for employees and for a company's bottom line.

Positive work environments can dramatically cut down on business costs. One study found that health care expenditures at companies with high-pressure environments are nearly 50 percent greater than at other organizations. The Harvard Business Review reports that the American economy loses $500 billion a year due to workplace stress.

Including a goofy GIF at the end of your email may seem like a small act, but these kinds of gestures could save your company some serious cash down the line.

Kevin Hart
Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images
Kevin Hart

Recruit talent

Companies are constantly competing to recruit and keep the best employees.

"In today's tight labor market, proper work-life balance practices are essential for employee retention," says Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of HR for job search site Indeed.

Volk-Weiss believes that humor may be the solution. "If there are two companies that are competing and one has a jovial humorous vibe and the other is a dead serious corporate vibe, the one with the comedy will always win," he says.

To make sure you're providing employees a top-notch environment, Volk-Weiss suggests mixing it up: "It's easy on Halloween to have a dress up contest, but have one on a random Friday."

By keeping things fresh and exciting, you make your business a place where employees love to work.

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