Every Week Blogging4Jobs invites our resident Etiquette Expert, CareySue Vega (@Etiquette101), to share tips when it comes to etiquette in the workplace.
For many of us, we’ve come to expect something fun and outlandish from Google on April Fools Day. And as an adult, playing a few pranks in the office can lighten the mood and bring some fun and excitement into the workplace. Hey, with a degree in Recreation (yes, it’s a real degree), I am all about fun, humor and laughter. But on the other hand, if your timing is off, a poorly planned prank can cause stress, create unnecessary problems, breed animosity and cut into productivity.
If you like to get into the spirit of the day and you’re busy scheming and planning the perfect prank, ask yourself:
- How would I feel if this joke were played on me?
- Will this embarrass someone or cause a lengthy disruption at work?
- Are there consequences for what I’m planning?
- Will this prank cost the company money?
- If a client were to see this – would we risk losing that client?
- Does this have the potential to appear to diminish someone’s authority?
So now that you’ve thought through the what if’s and you’re still thinking… ‘but it would be so fun’, here are some ideas for a fun and harmless hoax:
- Ever Changing: Bring a few additional items of clothing or accessories to change your appearance throughout the day. Change a shirt, skirt, tie, or necklace. Maybe even change from shoes to boots. Or team up with a buddy at work who is your same size and swap some key pieces with them.
- Cat and Mouse: When the cat’s away, the mouse will play, or ‘get played with’… take a piece of tape and place it over the laser on the bottom of your coworkers mouse. Just make sure they’re not under a deadline or in the middle of a major project!
- I’m a Belieber: Replace personal photos in the frames on your coworker’s desk with pictures of Justin Bieber.
- Invisible Ink: Take clear nail polish and coat the tips of your unsuspecting colleagues pens or pencils.
And last but not least, keep in mind the timing of your prank. It may be April Fool’s Day on the calendar, but if you’re timing is wrong and if your prank is unprofessional – you may end up being the Fool.