Does the idea of April Fools’ Day get you pumped up for office pranks? Do you plan for weeks on end to perform the prank that will be talked about for years to come? In order for office pranks to go over well, they must be in good taste. If you’re a jokester who lives for April Fools’ Day, these five tips can help you ensure your pranks won’t get you or anyone else into trouble.
1. Check the office policy. Check with your boss to find out if office pranks are acceptable. You don’t want to perform a trick if it won’t be tolerated in your workplace. Inappropriate pranks could result in a reprimand or worse, losing your job.
2. Know your target. Make sure you have a relationship with your target – and know them well. Performing a prank on someone you don’t know could make them feel discriminated against and get you in hot water.
3. Be politically correct. Steer clear of offensive jokes. Don’t make fun of protected classes, socioeconomic status, or someone’s education. These do more than cause embarrassment – they are often illegal in the workplace, especially when you use violent or sexually explicit jokes.
4. Run the prank by your boss. Before pulling off your prank, make sure that your boss is aware of your plan. You want to make sure your bases are covered before executing the joke. You don’t want to get the OK to perform a trick only to find out later that the prank you picked is inappropriate.
5. Put yourself in the situation. Ask yourself if this particular joke was pulled on you how you would take it. The idea of a prank is to make everyone laugh, even the person who is on the opposite end of the joke. If you think there might be a chance you could offend someone, make other plans.
Pranks should be lighthearted and enjoyable for all involved and done in good taste. A mean-spirited joke can harm someone’s career and reputation as well as hurt them emotionally.