Productivity Ninjas aren’t just productive co-workers who get things done, but they also see the benefit in a great team atmosphere and the importance of team building. This doesn’t just happen during team nights out over a pint of beer, but also in the office through day to day interactions and sometimes even office pranks.
When done properly and when it gets taken in the right spirit, you can’t beat a good prank at work. Especially when the person on the receiving end has previously been happy to yank somebody else’s chain. These are the people who usually take them the best and accept their previous victims have finally got one over them. They’re great for office morale and relationship building at work too. They can be used to break the ice, release tension following periods of stress and instill a level of fun at work too. When you spend around 40 hours a week together, you need to be comfortable enough to have a little fun with each other.
We had a chat in the office about some pranks and tricks that have gone down well in our many years of experience and working in the construction sector, believe me when I say, we have had to make sure they were all suitable for public consumption. Some of the things that happened to me as a young trainee in a construction site office would have you reaching for the HR Handbook, nowadays. But, remember, they are all done in jest and should only be ever put on somebody who is up for the joke.
Remove The Stapler Blade
Remember when Tim put Gareth’s stapler in jelly, again? And then The American Office did it too? Then every office pranks blog post suggested doing it to your colleague? The obvious is still funny to see happen in the flesh, the utter disbelief in somebody’s voice when they say, “I can’t believe you actually did that” is worth the effort.
Even better – and a lot more devious – is to switch somebody’s stapler for one which has had the blade which forces the staples out removed completely. This will render the stapler useless and leave your hapless colleague furiously changing the staples, confused as to what the problem is.
Prolong the fun/agony by helpfully suggesting, “Maybe you’re stapling too many pieces of paper, mate? Try a few less.”
There’s loads of fun to be had with your colleague’s mouse. Start by replacing one of the batteries with one which is completely out of life. After suggesting rubbing them and swapping them around, offer them some “new” ones, which are of course also flat.
Next, cover their mouse laser with a small piece of clear tape to distort its performance.
And, finally, here’s one that has been going around since Mr. Stephenson’s Year 8 ICT class; mess with the scroll settings so up-equals-down, left-equals-right and it moves at lightning speed.
Replace Nice Coffee With Cheap and Nasty Rubbish
Are you in your own little coffee club? “This Fair-Trade Ethiopian blend is delicious, isn’t it Clive? You can really taste the cocoa undertones.” “Oh, yes. Definitely worth the extra couple of quid.”
But little does Clive know, he’s drinking bulk-buy, roadside butty truck, wholesale cash and carry, instant granular coffee.
Word Of The Day
This one is a group effort and doesn’t really make anyone the butt of the joke – you just need to have a suitably shrewd colleague to play the part of unwitting referee. Here’s the rules;
- Each player gets allocated an unusual word that they have to add to their vocabulary for the duration of the game: dude, surreptitious, extrapolate, marzipan, mandem, etc.
- The players take turns to use their word and get a point each time it is used successfully without the “referee” realizing.
- Once the referee twigs some strange words are being used around the office, the person with the highest number of points wins.
Change An Email Signature
Do you pay much attention to your email signature? I don’t. In fact, I need to check this hasn’t been done to me. Again. As much as I enjoyed having the suffix “Extraordinaire” added to my title, I’m not sure all my bosses or clients did.
Text Trick – “He said he is working at home”
This one can be mind blowing when played at the right time. If one of your colleagues has worked from home for whatever reason (doctor’s appointment, childcare, etc) or is out at an external meeting, text or email asking where they are.
Whatever they reply with, reply as though you are intending to message their boss but have sent it to them by mistake. “Hi Mike, I texted him but he said to say he is in a meeting.”
Then it’s time to see just how worried your friend can get about what’s going on. Do not reply. Let them fret.
Mix Up The Repetitive Lunch
I know someone who has eaten either roast beef or wafer-ham on white rolls for his packed lunch every day since our first year at high school.
If you know someone like this, sneak into the fridge and replace their ham sandwich for a very exotic ham and cheese with pickle. They should be suitably confused, especially if they didn’t make their dinner themselves.
Spice It Up
Another one for the mass butty order and it works best at breakfast. “Were you on bacon butty with red sauce?”
Little do they know, their ketchup is laced with the hottest chili sauce you can get your hands on. Ouch.
A Call From Scott Chegg
Tenuous food link and very juvenile, you’ll need a third party with an unfamiliar voice to make a prank phone call for this one. Have somebody you know ring the office pretending to be Scott who spoke to your colleague last week. Have them ask for your colleague by name.
When your colleague cannot help, have Scott be adamant it was them who they spoke to and have them ask, “Can you not remember me? It’s Scott, we spoke for an hour? My last name’s Chegg?”
See how long it takes and how many people your colleague has to ask in the office if they know Scott Chegg, until the penny finally drops.
“Where did I park?”
Finally, one that gets better the more you repeat it. Choose somebody who is a close colleague so A. you won’t arouse suspicion when snooping around their desk drawer or coat pocket for their car keys and B. you won’t get done for automotive theft.
When they are making a brew or doing some photocopying, swipe their car key and at some point in the day, move their car to a different spot. Or even just turn it round to face the other way. When the latter keeps happening, they’ll think they’re losing their mind.
By Amy from Elm Workspace
Elm Workspace specialize in creating commercial and educational working spaces. They offer move management, refurbishment and furniture services, including design and project management.