Almost as if the cosmic gods were pulling their own prank, April Fool's Day falls on a Sunday this year, which means that employees who work a traditional Monday-through-Friday type of schedule won't be at work to prank their co-workers. It doesn't mean employees can't work in a prank, though.
As I blogged this time last year (twice) YouTube offers a lot of great April Fool's Day pranking ideas.
There's always the bucket prank, too. Or maybe you just want to know where April Fool's Day came from?
But back to planning your office prank. Oh, what to do? If you're stuck for ideas, websites are popping up to help you out. HappyOfficePranks.com, an Atlanta-based start-up, offers six pranks that you can send to your boss, coworkers, or employees (if you're the boss). "They're really good, nothing like the run-of-the-mill foil the cubicle pranks," says co-founder Ashli Norton. "You can just pick who you want to prank, choose the prank you want to send, and then we will email it."
Should you or shouldn't you, though? Pull a prank at work, that is. Norton thinks bosses should go for it. "A lot of employees don't get to see the fun, human side of their boss [that] often," she says. "Employees often feel that managers 'don't get it' or 'can't relate' or 'isn't one of us' so a work-safe prank that pranks the entire team, leaving no one out, can unify a team and is perfect to break the monotony that frequently happens during the workday."
Sounds plausible, but what if you're an average employee riding out an improving-but-still-tenuous economy? In this case, be careful and exceedingly thoughtful in planning a prank, especially if you're a newer employee still testing the relationship waters, generally don't get on all that well with people at work, or your co-workers were behind the door when a sense of humor was handed out. "A prank going too far is one that is just beyond annoying," Norton warns. "A prank that destroys property, embarrasses someone, is disruptive in the office for too long of a time, [can] make someone in the company look unprofessional."
The key is to be creative without risking your job. Imagine yourself as the recipient of your own prank and how it would make you feel. If the thought of it happening in front of co-workers or the boss makes you want to go home, pull the blinds and throw the sheets over your head for the next six months, then maybe your prank still needs tweaking. "Pull a prank creatively without the risk of losing your job. It can be done and has been done for many years," Norton says. "Think about how you would prefer to be pranked before doing it." Now go get your prank on.