April Fools Day, Office Pranks & How To Keep Your Job

April fools day comes once a year...thankfully. There's something about April 1st and the end of winter that turns everyone into a comedian. But once the clock strikes midnight, we all go back to our normal selves. No one wants to be the dud in the office with no sense of humor. So we all spend time thinking about the pranks we can pull. But everyone wants to have a job on April 2nd and no one wants to have to speak to Linda from H.R about the pranks. So what do you do? Can you show a lighter side of your personality AND keep your job?

As with any joke, it boils down to a simple equation: 50% content and 50% delivery. Everyone will laugh if you tell the joke correctly, and have a good punchline. But no one is going to laugh if your joke is offensive. Unless they're laughing because it's followed by an awkward silence, or they just can't believe you actually said that. So, here's 3 tips to keep in mind if you want to keep your job...

3 tips to keep office April Fools Day pranks funny:

1. Know your audience

This one might seem like a no-brainer, but there's always an April fool out there so you have to say it anyway. Knowing your audience doesn't mean you have to be best friends with them. But it's helpful to know your coworker's sense of humor before you start putting calculators in Jell-O. If you know a specific coworker watches the NBC hit show The Office- then by all means, put their calculator in Jell-O because that person will find your prank funny. But Sharon? The 60 year old accountant with an attitude problem, who has never even heard of The Office before- wouldn't get it and she would probably find it very rude to find her calculator in Jell-O. You have to consider the feelings of the people getting pranked BEFORE you prank them.

2. Get others involved

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Even if you know what you want to prank, and who you want to prank, it's nice to have help. Beyond the logistics of completing the prank, it can never hurt to loop someone in to what your plan is. They might have ways to make it better, or insight to make you think twice. Maybe this other person knows that your prank target is going through a hard time, but you don't. That is information you would want to know beforehand. Or maybe they have some tips to make the execution of your prank better. You could even make it a team building exercise, and have your whole department work together to prank another department. If you go this route, it builds rapport, camaraderie and it's much harder to fire an entire department vs just one person.

3. Create a prank-friendly environment

A prank-friendly environment means that people understand and consent to being pranked. The key word being consent... which is huge, in all aspects of life. If you spend the week leading up to the big day, people have time to verbalize to you what they do and don't find funny. After all, nothing is worse than having a prank go wrong. No one wants to be accused of hazing or bullying, so it's important to figure out where the line is. Especially if everyone on your team is involved, you can make it a prank contest, and award prizes for the most creative prank, or the funniest, the most clever etc. Awarding trophies and getting people involved who want to be involved makes the prank funnier. Plus, it allows you to bond with each other in good spirits so that no one ends up crying in the bathroom over your "super funny April Fools Day prank" that people found mean.

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Molly Romano Remote Copywriter

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