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Office Pranks Are No Joke

With the first of April just over a week away, many would-be pranksters are already conjuring up ideas about how to gag their friends, family members and co-workers. Of course, April 1st is known in many places throughout the world as “April Fool’s Day”. For some, it marks the day when people make complete fools of themselves!

This is especially true for employees of office jobs where certain types of behavior, although meant to be humorous and harmless, can be deemed inappropriate. The key, of course, is to have fun pulling your April Fool’s Day prank without getting yourself into any trouble with the boss.

Today, QMI Agency reported on The Toronto Sun’s website that research has shown that many office employees are displeased by the April Fool’s activities that have taken place at their places of work. According to the report, a recent survey by The Creative Group concluded that more than half of advertising and marketing executives consider pranks of any kind unsuitable for the office. 58% in fact, do not approve of April Fool’s Day jokes taking place at work.

33% of executives polled believe that pranks are “somewhat appropriate” while only 4% felt that it was “very appropriate”. The survey polled a total of 350 respondents, among them 200 marketing executives, 100 employees and 50 advertising executives.

Lara Dodo, the vice-president of The Creative Group’s Canadian operations offered this view point: “With many creative teams challenged with high workloads, office pranks may be viewed more as a distraction than an amusement.” Noting that not everyone knows how to take a joke, Dodo indicated that pranks can be hurtful to those who may get their feelings hurt, especially if the prank is deemed to be in bad taste.

Of course, this is not to insinuate that any type of joking around is bad at work. It is important to keep in mind the relationship you have with the co-worker you are pulling the prank on to ensure that he or she won’t be offended by the rib. Keeping the prank funny and without the intention of embarrassment or worse, injury, is extremely important.

In fact, prank-pulling and joke-telling can actually make for a more positive environment in the workplace. As we have often mentioned on this blog, a happy staff is a productive staff. When employees enjoy their time at work, it is certainly more likely to bring about greater accomplishments from employees.

Said Dodo: “Well-intentioned humour when shared amongst teams can create a positive work environment, especially when business is demanding. Some light-hearted wit can increase morale and motivation, resulting in improved productivity and retention.”

You have time Canada. April Fool’s Day is still over a week away. Plan wisely and keep your pranks fun and enjoyable for all those involved. Research some pranks online and make sure that if you are planning on fooling someone at work, that it doesn’t turn you into a fool without a job!

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