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How to prank your coworkers on April Fools’ Day

Next Wednesday marks the beginning April, and pranksters around the world know what that means: April Fools' Day! On this blog we've discussed standard office holidays to celebrate, but the beauty of April Fools' is that it has a habit of slipping people's minds. This gives professionals the opportunity to pull a fast one on their coworkers for a lighthearted day of silliness. 

Of course, it's important to exercise caution before deciding on a prank. Last year, AOL compiled examples of April Fools' pranks gone wrong, so stick to some primary ground rules:

  • Avoid pranks that could cause offense, embarrassment or distress.
  • Make sure that physical pranks won't cause injury or property damage.
  • Clear pranks with senior staff members beforehand. It's never worth losing your position over a "harmless" prank!

You might also run an idea by a coworker before you commit to moving forward, just to get a second opinion. Once you've checked those boxes, feel free to proceed with the shenanigans. Here are some of our favorite ideas for April Fools' pranks to pull on coworkers:

  1. Alternative wallpaper. Bustle suggests newspaper-ing a coworker's cubicle, covering it in aluminum foil or wrapping it in string. Unlike duct tape or plastic wrap, these options are easy to take down and still deliver the same effect. 
  2. Balloons and paper chains. Filling a conference room or corner office with a mass of inflated balloons or an endless paper chain can give a confounding start to your coworkers' mornings. This is an ambitious prank, but well worth it for the dramatic reveal. 
  3. Misleading memos. Circulate a memo that says that to save on overhead costs, your company has decided to do away with its coffee machine. Other harmless-but-almost-believable announcements can allow a moment of indignation before coworkers start to get the joke. 
  4. "Kidnap" office supplies. April Fools' Zone suggests: "Take an item from the victim's office (something they use a lot such as a special coffee cup, stapler, pencil cup, etc.). Take a picture of the item and leave it on the victim's desk (in the same spot where the item was located), along with a 'ransom' note."
  5. Air horn hijinks. Scouring the web for suggestions, we came across several that involved air horns. Rigging them beneath a swivel chair can cause the horn to sound when someone sits, and installing them as door stops can let out a startling noise when someone closes a door. 
  6. Something's not write. Monster.com suggests: "Take all the pens from your colleague's desk and paint some of the tips with clear nail polish so that they won't write. With the remaining pens, glue the caps to the pens so that they won't come off! Sit back and watch as your coworker goes through everything, trying to find something to write with!"

Be creative! These pranks will work in most offices but try to mine your company culture (and the personalities that make it) for material to turn April 1 into a jokester's paradise. This is the perfect opportunity to extend those inside jokes by creating absurd situations based on life in your office. The best April Fools' Day pranks are so memorable that employees will continue trying to match them for years to come. 

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