Five workplace April Fool’s Day pranks that went too far

April Fool’s Day offers an opportunity once a year to invoke some laughter, mischief or playful revenge to the workplace, with the excuse of “April Fools” accounting for any questionable pranks.

Whether it’s a cunning employer, or employees coming together to plan a workplace gag, most April Fool’s pranks can be laughed about. But what about those April Fool’s day pranks that went too far?

These five April Fool’s Day ideas make cling filming desks and toying with lunches seem minor. They are definitely not to be copied, unless you want to risk being fired, arrested, or both.

Comedy gold at the comedy store?

An ironically humourless prank at an American comedy store, a sales assistant decided to prank her boss by calling him and saying the store was getting robbed and she was being held at gunpoint. Before she knew it, there were police cars and helicopters scaling the area, seeking the culprit. When she admitted it was an April Fools prank, she was quickly arrested and evidently lost her job. At least they can laugh about it now?

Internal weekly news gets toyed with

The editorial team at a large corporate bank wanted to spin some fun into the predictably dire weekly news email that circulates the company. Little did they know that by the end of the working day, they’d be packing up their desks and heading out of the office for good.

With intensive meetings planning the big idea, it was all revealed on April 1st, and it targeted the big boss. Before they knew it, it had gone viral on social media and was no longer an internal matter. With the CEO’s wife being sent the scandalous email from friends, it soon turned to the hands of HR to deal with.

Intern takes prank to the next level

A fashion student interning at a high-profile designer had copious amounts of time whilst doing the regular coffee run to come up with her April Fools Prank. Inspired from a hit romcom, she announced her pregnancy to her team, naming the Director as the father.

Whilst the pregnancy was untrue, it exposed the truth about a hidden affair, and she was swiftly accompanied out of the building.

Taking the bosses’ car for a spin

A group of employees at a marketing agency were looking for a lunchtime thrill on April 1st. It was a sunny day, so what better time than to take the bosses’ new convertible out for a spin whilst he was in a meeting.

Wanting to share the fun with some of their colleagues, they sent videos of them speeding up the motorway. Unbeknown to them, it was opened during the meeting break and the boss caught a glance. All three were immediately fired and arrested for driving a stolen car.

Big bonuses for every employee?

A PA to a senior Director came up with a list minute April Fool’s prank for the company. Sending an email from her bosses’ account, she offered every employee a hefty bonus for their outstanding performance during the last quarter.

Quick to see an influx of Thank You responses, she soon realised that no one understood it was an April Fool’s Prank. She then had to send an awkward and apologetic follow-up email, confirming there were no bonuses. Obviously, her boss was not best pleased, and neither were her colleagues.  Monetary rewards are a key workplace motivator, so by teasing them with this, it quickly acted in the opposite way.

It’s safe to say she no longer works for the company.

Lessons learnt for your workplace April Fool’s Day pranks

Take some advice from these April Fool’s prankers that took it too far when you’re planning your April Fool’s Day ideas. Keep in mind workplace etiquette and norms. Whilst it may seem humorous to you, your colleagues may not find it so funny. So, keep your April Fool’s Day pranks light-hearted, and consider any potential consequences.

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