Your company’s CEO, CFO, CIO, and that scary guy from HR may be hard at work creating a sense of empowerment among employees or “vision casting” to inspire the rank-and-file around the office, but what are they doing to develop the organization’s sense of humor?
The answer, most likely, is nothing–which means you’re duty-bound to keep co-workers chuckling. Get started by playing one of five of these harmless yet inspiring practical jokes today.
The Bottomless Vacation Inbox
Wait until a co-worker–let’s call her Mary–heads out for a nice, long vacation. While she’s away, find the largest wire basket possible and label it “Mary’s Inbox.”
As her vacation progresses, find every possible piece of scrap paper, TPS report, or other unimportant memo floating around the office and put it in the basket. Be ready to snap a picture when Mary sees exactly how much “work” has piled up while she was gone.
After she’s had a chance to dig around in the basket awhile, give her back her real inbox.
Refilling the Water Fountains
Interns expect to do some grunt work around the office, so be sure to give it to them.
When a freshly-minted intern arrives, mention that one of your building’s shortcomings is that the water fountain is always running low, so it’s important to keep it full. Then hand him a bucket brimming with cool, clean water and instruct him to fill the fountain by slowly pouring it into the holding tank (i.e., down the drain).
Not all interns will fall for this, but when you find one that does, stress that this is, in fact, an important, daily task that cannot be neglected.
Take Control of Problem PCs
Find a co-worker who’s always having PC problems. While she’s at lunch, connect a wireless mouse to her PC, preferably via a USB port in the back of the machine. At random times throughout the day, move the mouse around. Just don’t get too anxious to start clicking unless you know what she’s working on isn’t mission critical.
Secret Coffee Cup Messages
This works best if you can find a co-worker whose desk faces a few others in the office. Each morning before he or she arrives, write a secret message in large, legible letters on a piece of paper and attach it to the underside of his coffee mug and wait for him to tip it up while taking a big sip.
For extra fun, see if you and the co-workers who face his desk can work the secret message into daily conversations with him.
Help a co-worker step back in time by redecorating her cubicle in the style of a random decade. Print pictures of celebrities and “teen idols” from the era and pin them like posters around her workspace. If you’re feeling ambitious, find some accompanying knick knacks at the local thrift shop to give the cubicle atmosphere.