April Fools Day Office Pranks

Everyone can appreciate a good prank. Okay, well maybe not everyone, but most can get behind (or at least tolerate) them on April Fools’ Day. From classic post-it note coverage to the bold, packing-peanut filled cubicle, there’s innocent(ish) fun to be had by all without inflicting much harm. Whether you’re the prankster or the prankee, here are a few playful office jokes that won’t result in a company downsize.

Post-it Prank
A once very simple (and very yellow) approach, the “just cover everything with post-it notes” prank has evolved into something much more creative in recent years. Whether you’re plastering them on every inch of a car or designing colorful patterns on desks, cubicles or office walls, you really need to step up your game to master this prank. I suggest a variety pack of colors, sizes and an overarching theme to get you started.

Desktop Mayhem
Another classic, yet effective prank is taking a screenshot of your co-workers’ desktop, deleting their icons and setting the screenshot as their background. It is annoying for them, obviously, but very funny to watch from afar as they try to figure out why they can’t click on ANYTHING. Short and sweet, yet surprisingly satisfying to the prankster.

A Nickel For Your Laughs
One of my favorite episodes of NBC’s The Office is when Jim fills Dwight’s phone receiver with nickels over a long period of time and as soon as he gets used to the weight, Jim removes all of the change. This is a long con and takes commitment, but April Fools’ Day is the perfect time to remove all of the change and witness the confusion and potential phone-to-face action. The actual pain inflicted is minimal, but pick a victim who’s a good sport, just to be safe.

Keyboard To Ktybfnrd
Most of us either took a typing class or have been using a computer long enough to know where A-Z sit on the keyboard. There are some people, though, who still rock the two-finger peck strategy, eyeing the letters as they go. Does anyone come to mind? They are your prime target for this innocent enough prank. Pop out a few keys, make the switch and wait in the wings to observe many failed attempts at putting in their computer password.

Mirrored Desk
This is great for the neat freak of the office and only takes a few minutes. Rearrange their desk so that everything is in the exact same place, just on the opposite side. For an added bonus, move their icons on their desktop to the opposite side too. It may take them a few minutes to figure out what is off, or it may be immediate, but in either case, it’s still funny.

If you work in a bullpen environment, pulling off any of the above pranks can get a little tricky. For one that requires less stealth and planning, take advantage of the iPhone shortcut feature. Under settings, a user can force everyday words to autocorrect into whatever they want in matter of seconds, leading to some potentially awkward text conversations. The only caveat is a majority of people password protect their phone. Find the one person who doesn’t, ideally someone who you can reap the benefits from (aka someone you text frequently), change “yes” to “no” or “hi” to “bye” and enjoy.