Researching this post led me to a myriad of websites full of tricks and tips to play on people in your workplace – ranging from the cute to devious, fun to potentially leagally actionable and the sublime to the ridiculous.
Done thoughtfully, April Fools jokes can be a creative way to relieve tension, consolidate team working and reduce stress. Done badly they can cause injury or loss, hurt feelings and reflect very badly on you!
Whatever prank you decide to play here are a few tips to help you April Fools Day go smoothly:
1. For goodness sake, make sure that the person/ people you are going to play a prank on are going to appreciate it, or at least have a sense of humour. If you have any doubt at all about how someone will react then avoid singling them out for an April Fool’s prank.
2. Workplaces and individuals vary considerably in their tolerance of workplace pranks so make sure that your trick is in line with the culture of your workplace.
3. Avoid setting up a prank that is dangerous, goes against any company health and safety policies, IT policies or bullying and harrassment policies. If you aren’t sure, then err on the side of caution or check with someone else.
4. Don’t set up a prank that could cause your company to lose a client or lose money or otherwise publically embarrass your company.
5. Get other people involved in the prank you want to play. You could even get your boss involved / on board – especially if you want to double check your prank isn’t going to have any unintended bad consequences for you.
6. Plan your prank in your own time – not work time.
7. Be prepared to put right anything that breaks or gets lost as a result of your prank.