Monday was April Fools’ Day and normally when one hears the word “April Fools’ Day” it’s normal to automatically think of April Fools’ Day as a day full of pranks and jokes, but it is advised to think twice before you celebrate this day of pranks at work.
Most work places suggest leaving the pranks and jokes at home because supervisors often aren’t amused by April Fools’ Day. According to a 2010 national survey study by The Creative Group, 68% of marketing and advising directors consider April Fools’ pranks to be unsuitable and unnecessary for the office. Many directors find that April Fools’ is counteractive to the professionalism that companies strive for and instill in their workers.
Depending on where you work and who you work for April Fools’ pranks may be appropriate based on the environment and position you hold within in a company. Knowing when to pull a joke is something important, for instance, you shouldn’t pull a prank during a major meeting with corporates, or pulling a mean prank on co-workers such as telling them an important meeting was cancelled when it wasn’t wouldn’t be wise. Unless your prank is work appropriate, can make someone laugh and have a good feeling at the end of the day then that’s tolerable amongst company directors.
It is important to understand the culture and philosophy before pulling a prank. Instead of pulling pranks at work on April Fools’ Day you can create other suggestions to bring some fun and laughter to your work environment without it being over the top and inappropriate. Here are some examples of ways to make everyday a fun day at work and not just on April Fools’ Day:
- Create awards for co-workers: Honor your fellow workers in a fun way by creating certificates with nicknames that describe the person. An example would be someone who helps the most customers a day; you could honor them by saying “highest number of customer service daily”. Recognizing someone builds confidence and highlights their positive contributions to the company. Creating a positive work place builds stronger connections with your co-workers and bosses.
- Don’t limit celebrations to once a year: Don’t just have that one big ‘end of the year party’, instead opt for celebrating more of the little holidays that don’t get much recognition. Have celebrations for other things that you think are important, for example you can have a celebration for the sequel of The Hobbit. That is a fun way to keep the office entertaining, amusing and engaging. Who doesn’t love The Hobbit?!
- Celebrate outside the work place: Who said work is only till 5 pm? Take your co-workers and have fun outside of work. This is where you can pull pranks and jokes. Whatever is done out of the office should be kept separate from the office. Knowing when to keep things professional is essential. Having fun with co-workers outside of the office is a way to get to know each other while maintaining the standards of your superiors while in the office.
There are many ways to celebrate pranks and jokes not just on April Fools’ Day; the internet provides many fun ways to celebrate as an office in a professional manner. Take the time to look some of them up, apply it and have a blast. Don’t make your boss mad by pulling a horrible joke at work on him/her, instead be a good worker, work and know when to have fun. In the long run you will be thankful you didn’t pull a nasty prank during that corporate meeting, you just saved yourself your job.
Did any of you pull an April Fool’s prank in the office? Or have one pulled on you? Please comment if appropriate!
Posted by Lali Kaapana, Career Services Assistant