What Jokes are Appropriate at Work?

Apr 5, 2023

Are you a jokester at work? Does your coworker make inappropriate or harmful jokes and you’re not sure what to do about it? How does HR handle inappropriate jokes? Let’s discuss! Today on Workplace Inappropriate, Kearin, Kate and Average Joe sit down to talk about what jokes are considered inappropriate at work and how HR might handle them.

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What jokes are appropriate at work?

As humans, jokes and banter are part of our lives. Live, Love, LAUGH, right? Jokes in the workplace build team morale and connection, but if used carelessly, jokes can quickly turn into bullying and harassment. The fact is that the more you repeat inappropriate behavior, the more uncomfortable your coworkers will be. So, let’s uncover which topics and jokes you can bring to work and which should be left at home.


In this episode, they cover:

  • The difference between harmless jokes and bullying/harassment.
  • Examples of jokes you definitely should NOT say at work.
  • What to do if your work friends make harmful jokes around you.
  • Navigating censorship of speech at work – How does HR handle inappropriate jokes?
  • Telling jokes in work group chats vs. personal group chats with coworkers.
  • HR-friendly jokes you cansay at work. 
  • What kind of speech falls under workplace discrimination and vilification legislation?
We’re not saying don’t joke around in the workplace. Let’s be real, life is crappy sometimes and jokes are how many of us get through the workday… but let’s be mindful of how we joke around in the workplace. Let’s keep it fun and appropriate!

Let us know… What is the most inappropriate joke you’ve ever heard at work? Do you have a go-to dad joke you love to tell coworkers? We want to hear from you! DM us on Instagram!


Appropriate Quotes

“It’s not genuinely funny if it has to make fun of someone else.” – Kearin [11:11]

“It’s human nature, we’re going to joke, that’s how we laugh, that’s how we release serotonin… but it’s the insensitive stuff at work that offends people.” – Kate [10:42]

“I want to have fun when I’m at work with the people I’m working with. Otherwise, what’s the point of going to work?” – Average Joe

“Even if you’re not a sexist or you’re not a racist and you’re telling the joke, it makes you look like one, so just don’t do it.” – Kate [19:38]

Connect with us!

Instagram: @WorkplaceInappropriate

Facebook: Workplace Inappropriate

LinkedIn: Workplace Inappropriate

Meet the Hosts:

Kearin – Director of Workforce Positive

Kate – Program Coordinator and Executive Assistant

Zoe – HR Services Intern

Would you like to implement an end-of-year ritual to process the year that was and focus your team to the future?
We can help.


Contact me to discuss ideas that will be suitable for your business.

Kearin Lowry

Meliorist & Director

Kearin Lowry

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