By Jacelyn Lim
In just a couple of days, numerous people will peer around corners and look behind their backs every few minutes to make sure that no one is attempting to play a prank on them. No matter your age or gender, April Fools’ Day is always celebrated with enthusiasm as friends try to outwit and out-prank each other with the most elaborate ideas unimaginable.
The office environment is no different. Tricking unsuspecting colleagues will incite a few laughs and gives everyone involved a topic to talk about during lunch or after-work drinks. At the same time, everyone will have a smile on their faces; happy workers translate to higher productivity after all.
Although April Fools’ Day falls on a Sunday this year, you can always shift the customary day to Monday instead!
We’ve listed down 5 office pranks (all tested for viability) that are easy to set up, memorable, and will not cause any undue harm or physical injury.
1. Unstoppable ringing office phone prank
Perfect for: Colleagues who regularly take phone calls
Note: Your office needs to use phones that have hooks that press down when the handset is in the cradle.
Tape down the hook on your colleague’s phone set, and then call him or her. If you’ve done it right, the phone will continue ringing even though your colleague has picked it up. Watch as his or her expression goes from puzzled to bewilderment as he or she tries to stop the ringing.
Do NOT use on: Colleagues waiting for an important call!
Difficulty level: Easy-peasy
2. Smartphone prank
Perfect for: Those who often leave their phones around absentmindedly
During lunch or tea breaks, surreptitiously take your colleague’s phone and record a loud scream. Then, set it as the ringtone. Alternatively, you can use a really embarrassing sound, like farts, instead. Remember to maximise the ringing volume! When it is safe, dial your colleague’s phone and watch as he or she jumps up in shock when the phone rings.
If your colleague has set a password function, one way to get around it is to pretend to borrow it for an important phone call. Walk away from the table and let the fun begin!
If a bloodcurdling scream might actually cause your colleague to go into cardiac arrest, there are a myriad of iPhone and Android apps that can incite panic in said colleague without putting his or health into danger.
One of the best apps we have found is the “Crack Screen” app, available for both iPhone and Android users. Like its name suggests, fake cracks will start appearing on the victim’s smartphone.
iPhone: Search for ‘Crack Screen’ in the iTunes store.
Android: Fire up the phone’s browser and point it here.
Do NOT use on: Your bosses or key personnel in the office
Difficulty level: Some slight work involved
3. Confetti rain prank
Perfect for: Colleagues who bring an umbrella to work
Put some shredded paper into your colleague’s umbrella. Attach a note that says “HAPPY BELATED APRIL FOOL’S” with a string of rubber bands, and tie it to the metal wires of the umbrella. Stuff the note along with the shredded paper. Watch and enjoy as your colleague opens up the umbrella to get shelter from the rain, but not the confetti!
Do NOT use on: This trick is PERFECT for everyone
Difficulty level: Easy with minuscule risk of paper cuts
4. Auto-incorrect software prank
Perfect for: Colleagues who regularly use Microsoft Word during the course of the workday
Sneak to your colleague’s desk and launch Microsoft Word. For the ones that are using the older version of Word, go to ‘Tools’, then ‘Auto-correct options’. For those using the more recent versions, the ‘Auto-correct options’ button can be found by clicking on the Office suite button on the top left-hand corner of the window, then ‘Word options’ followed by ‘Proofing’.
Once inside, type a word in the “Replace” field and exchange it with another word in the “With” field. For maximum results, use common words like: the, for, is, he, she, you, them, with, etc. Replace it with preposterous phrases like “I love ice-cream!” or “Chope!” Your imagination can go wild here.
Do NOT use on: This trick is PERFECT for everyone
Difficulty level: Requires imagination and speed typing skills
5. Hopelessly locked prank
Perfect for: People who need some serious spicing up in their lives
Note: For this prank, you’ll need doors with push-button or twist knobs.
The trick is to remove knobs on both sides of the door, and fix them back backwards. When a colleague enters the room, they would automatically trigger the door mechanism and lock themselves in the room.
For a step-by-step guide with pictures, click here.
Do NOT use on: Colleagues with a medical condition (i.e. acute asthma)
Difficulty level: Very tricky to pull of, but very satisfying when accomplished
Before you start rushing off to prepare some of the momentous pranks in the article, try to keep this few guidelines in mind:
• Do not prank your intended victim in front of his or her business clients, or in an important meeting
• Do help your victim to clean up the resulting mess, if any
• Video the prank!
Happy April Fools’ Day! Share with us some of the office pranks you’ve had fun with that are not included in this article in the comments box below.
The JobsCentral Group, a CareerBuilder company, is the owner of JobsCentral.com.sg, one of Singapore's largest job and learning portals. Get a free career personality test and more career- and education-related articles at JobsCentral and JobsCentral Community. Alternatively, Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter for more career-centric content!