Published on április 1st, 2014 | by Multiculti Juli0
Tips for April Fool’s Day Pranks @ the Office
April Fool’s Day is a great chance to have a bit of fun and blame it on the occasion. If you’re keen to add some mischief to your workplace, getting in early and setting the pace is the way to start the day. Just be sure your workplace and co-workers can handle it, and that you’re ready for some pranks aimed right back at you!
Choose your prank.
You know your workplace best, so tailor the prank to the type of workplace you’re in, its possibilities and its limitations. Also be conscious of your workplace’s sense of etiquette before getting carried away. Whatever prank you choose to pull, keep the following things in mind:
- Some pranks in the workplace have lead to firings and lawsuits. You don’t want to be at the receiving end of either of these outcomes, so follow workplace rules, guidelines, and be considerate of the nature of the workplace and your co-workers.
- Don’t cause a disruption in the workplace. While a few minutes of messing about is probably okay, anything that breaks substantially into the work day is unlikely to be tolerated, and even less so if it holds up work, other people, and important work requirements.
- Avoid embarrassing people, especially when you don’t know them well enough to know they can cope with being put into a position of potential embarrassment.
- Think through the consequences, including the worst case scenario. Think about how to make it fun, not humilating when working through the consequences of your prank.
- Never use pranks as a source of revenge. It’s unkind and you’ll get more than you bargained for in return.
- You are around co-workers, not your parents, your family, or even your friends. Standards are different and forgiveness levels are likely to be too.
- Your boss’s authority should always be left intact, even if he or she does have a wild sense of humor.
Consider a desk, cubicle space, or office space prank.
These kinds of pranks are fun because you get to mess with their space and rearrange things a little. Just be sure that the person will go along with it and that you’re not going to be upsetting the office neat freak or someone who intensely cherishes their privacy.
- Fill your co-workers office, cubicle, or other space with balloons, golf balls, packing peanuts, shredded paper, etc. Use a plastic screen or kitchen food wrap to keep it in place if there is no door. Use anything that makes it impossible to settle down to work when they arrive, provided it doesn’t damage personal or work property. Take a photo, have a laugh, and help clean it away after.Cover your victim’s workspace in Post-it notes Bonus points for leaving a message on the notes or using them to spell out something.
- A fun variation for a co-worker who has their own office and a door with glass in it is to find a box larger than the window in the door and to fill it with cans or packing peanuts facing toward the glass. When they arrive, they’ll see nothing but cans or packing peanuts and think that their entire room is filled this way, especially if you’ve managed to wedge a chair behind it too, to give the illusion of resistance.
- If you have the time, it can be especially effective to cover individual items with things such as paper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper, plastic wrap, etc. Be warned though, covering every single thing in their office can take hours, depending on how many people you have helping!
- Cover the desk in birdseed. Yes, this is very messy so be sure to have a lot of cleaning hands ready but it is effective. Or, leave lots of little plastic spiders all around his/her office. Especially if they are scared by creepy crawly things, this should make a good laugh.
- Swap everything on a desk to make it really feminine for a masculine desk, or everything masculine for a feminine desk.
- Be really annoying and cover your prank victim’s cubicle or office with posters for a rival sports team, detested pop-singer, or something else they can’t stand!
- A Post-It note variation that’s as old as Post-It notes is to label every single item on your co-worker’s desk. Time-consuming but amusing.
- Swap the victim’s desk drawers around. If the furniture isn’t so flexible, just remove the contents and switch them around.
- Stuff something into a cupboard that will spring out when your co-worker opens it.
Do some tech-based pranks.
Tech pranks can be a little more challenging given the marked tendency to rely on passwords and high levels of security, so pranks on a co-worker’s computer will depend on you knowing that your prank won’t compromise anyone or anything, and that you even have access in some cases (such as changing screen messages, etc). Some computer related and phone pranks that are fairly benign include:
- Switch the keyboard letters around to make words and messages. This will work on a non-tech savvy co-worker or boss.
- Give your co-worker’s keyboard a makeover with small stickers, as shown here.
- Switch keyboards. Plug your own keyboard cord into your victim’s computer and hide their keyboard’s cord but leave their keyboard in place. When they start typing, type away any message you’d like. Anything that they type in will be exactly what you’re typing and not what they’re typing! Type things that you know will freak them out, like “The report’s late Johnson! Where is it?”Turn your co-worker’s screen upside down.
- This trick can also be done by switching phone lines, so that two co-workers are getting each other’s calls!
- Stick a Post-It note under the tracking device of the computer mouse. Write “April’s Fools” on it and watch as your co-worker wonders why the mouse won’t work until they finally turn it over… Or, place a toy mouse in lieu of the computer mouse.
- Turn the brightness control on the victim’s computer all the way up, and the contrast right down. Be sure to test that it works, but on many screens this will make it appear that the screen is blank. Alternatively, change their default font color to white and all their typing won’t be viewable.
- Leave a message on your co-worker’s notepad asking them to call a “Mr Lyon” or a “Mrs Wolf”. Give them the number of the local zoo and just wait to see their face when they make the call.
- When your co-worker pops out to the bathroom, google something embarrassing or bizarre and leave the results open on their computer. Obviously, keep it clean as you are at work, but make it funny, like delivery of manure, best smelly cheeses in the world, odd medical conditions, or something you know will make them laugh. Alternatively, make a copy of a document they’ve just been working on (be sure to save the original safely) and then fill it with nonsense and symbols. Watch their horror unfold when they return and discover their morning’s work has gone feral.
- Set your cell phone ring to Mario game music, hide it in his/her office, then call it from another room. You could also set the ring as a type of music he/her hates. Just make sure they don’t find your cell phone.
Do silly things with the mundane, everyday objects in the office or workplace.
There are lots of fun things you can to mess things about a little without creating major hassles. Here are some ideas:
- Kidnap something from your co-worker’s desk, like their favorite mug or pen. Take a digital photo of it somewhere else in the office and email the photo with a ransom note demanding a chocolate bar, lunch date, or something equally amusing and non-threatening for its return.
- Make photocopies of paperclips. Cut them out carefully and replace the paperclips sitting next to the photocopier. Watch as people find all of the paperclips aren’t working.
- If you work with overalls, such as in a garage or mechanic’s workshop, hide the overalls your co-workers usually wear and replace them all with something less suitable, like French maid costumes, or some other funny clothing you can get for cheap in the dollar store.
- Find a very old and ugly chair. Place it in the boss’s office. Place the boss’s chair in a co-worker’s desk with a note “new chair courtesy of the boss”. Watch the fun and games unfold as your boss starts looking for his or her usual chair. Naturally, your boss needs to be a good sport for this one.
Have fun with the photos.
Get the photoshopping into action and make a few changes for the amusement of all…
- Photoshop a coworker’s face on funny pictures and hang them around the office. Avoid being lewd, just stay within the realms of being funny.
- Scan your co-worker’s photos and photoshop animal heads onto all of the people in the photos. Carefully replace them all, being sure not to harm the originals and wait for the realization to dawn.
- Make a calendar featuring office co-workers at their usual duties as the pin-ups for each section. Make it funny by adding comments about heroism at the photocopier, saving the company from uncertain peril in the boardroom, and discovering new theories while waiting for the kettle to boil. This one will take some time and planning, so you’ll probably need to start it before the day.
Use noise to annoy.
Noise pranks can be a little harder to set up, depending on your work environment and what’s available to you but if you have the opportunity, they can be funny.
- Play a sound of dripping water near your co-worker’s desk. If they ask you if you can hear water dripping, deny it totally. Other noises that are amusing include snoring, ocean waves, animal noises, and a repeated recorded catchphrase from someone like Rambo or Clint Eastwood.
- Place a fart cushion on their chair. An oldie but a good one, but you’ll need to hide it adequately, so you may only be able to do this on chairs which have layers or a cushion.
Play team-based pranks.
These usually require a team to be “in” on the joke so that you can all get a laugh out of it and ensure that it works.
- Have everyone call in sick for the day from your prankster team; the more the better and have a good excuse like office flu. Then, have someone phone the boss and tell him or her that there is a vital meeting that members of the team were supposed to be at and insist the boss takes their place. Set it up so that it’s believable and use a room your boss would recognize as a meeting room. Place breakfast or morning tea on the table, and have your boss walk in on a treat in their honor, as well as it being April Fool’s.
- Have everyone in the prankster team dress exactly the same for work on April Fool’s Day You might even make up a story that it’s the new uniform, or health and safety requirements for the co-workers not in on the joke.