Practical jokes have a time and a place, but should they be encouraged in the office? Depending on where you are in the country, you may be more likely to benefit from a workplace prank, according to a recent survey.
Kit Out My Office asked 1,594 people in order to create, probably, the first ever latitude-to-prank model, and found that more northern office workers prank their colleagues than those in the South.
83% of participants based in the North admitted to taking part in pranks, compared to the South’s 69% ‘yes’ result. 69% of people 36-40 have pranked a colleague in the last three months, compared to just 47% of the 18-24 age bracket.
Their findings uncovered some pranking horror stories end with people receiving their P45. One consisted of someone leaving a bleeping device in a solicitor’s office that was feared to be a listening device planted by rival firm.
The office furniture company have also compiled a list of more harmless pranks that are unlikely to cost you a job, such as the classic post-it over a computer mouse sensor or weighing down a phone receiver with coins.
Pamela Rogerson, HR Director for the Employment Law Advisory Services Group attests to the importance of a harmless prank: “Pranks in the workplace lighten the mood and, for the most part, can have a positive effect on morale so why not?
“A little laughter and joviality helps build team spirit and corporate identity; if a workplace is staid and boring then I’m sure that staff retention could be an issue.”
Rogerson also encourages a bit of common sense when choosing a target: make sure it’s safe, they would see the funny side of it, and it wouldn’t cost anybody money (barring the expense of post-it notes).
The top 5 most common office pranks:
- Cover the sensor on a mouse
- Buy a box of doughnuts and replace them with healthy snacks
- Plug a wireless mouse into a colleague’s computer and sporadically move it
- Unroll toilet paper, draw a spider on it and roll it back up
- Place the waste from a hole punch