The office job lifestyle can get dull pretty quickly when you do the same thing every day. Of course, you can be passionate and love your job. But arriving at the office, sitting at your desk, taking a quick break, and driving back home repeatedly gets tiring too.
I’m sure you have co-workers who feel the same way. So, what can you do to brighten up the workplace? Take longer lunch breaks? Nap time? Or maybe, you just have to crack a quick joke? If you want to garner laughs from people at the office, a couple of office pranks can do the trick!
Some Ground Rules to Keep in Mind
But before anything, we need to set things straight. Even if there’s nothing wrong with pulling a trick or two in the office, remember that you’re still at the workplace.
That means you should:
- Respect personal property and space.
- Avoid causing a large fuss.
- Do not hurt someone in the process.
- Set the pranks aside if you feel upset or angry.
- Stay within the boundary.
Sometimes, the best office pranks could also take a wrong turn if you allow it. After all, we’re in control of how far we take a joke. These quick reminders will keep you from crossing the line and ensuring the pranks are safe and fun for everyone!
So without further ado, here are some brilliant office pranks you can try on your co-workers.
1. A Frozen Desktop
One of the charms of office pranks is how easy it is to execute since you only have a minute or two for most of them, just like the desktop freeze prank. All you need is an open laptop or computer and your victim somewhere else.
Here’s how to do it.
- Take a screenshot of their current desktop the way they left it.
- Set that photo as their desktop wallpaper.
- Hide all the app and folder icons on their desktop.
- Watch them click away in confusion.
Just prepare yourself to let them in on the prank when you find them looking up MacBook Pro alternatives on their phone!
2. Balloons in the Meeting Room
If you have a bit more time on your hands, this is a surprise that will surely fill your co-worker’s day, literally. Imagine the shock factor when you prepare for a meeting only to find a room full of balloons.
To get started, simply follow these steps:
- Find a meeting room with no schedules for a couple of hours.
- Lock yourself in with a bag of deflated balloons and a pump.
- Get to pumping them one by one, setting them aside when you’re done.
- Make enough to fill the room.
You can even add confetti to every balloon before inflating them. That way, they get even more surprises with every pop! Just be sure to help clean up the mess after.
3. Literal Paper Clips
Are you thinking up a few last-minute office pranks while you’re in the break room or in the middle of printing? Then, we have exactly what you need. All it takes is a paper clip, some documents, and a working copy machine.
Here is how it goes:
- Choose a document your co-workers will likely take later.
- Attach a paperclip at the top.
- Make a couple of copies to stack next to the machine.
It works best for co-workers who are too busy to review a document after taking it. Then, you can sit back and watch them try to take it out in frustration. But just in case, keep another set of copies ready — without the clip this time.
4. A Broken Mouse
The broken mouse trick is a part of the rather subtle office pranks, but it can make a pretty big impact on your target. You can complete it in seconds with these steps:
- Take your co-worker’s mouse.
- Tape a thick piece of paper to the underside, covering the sensor light.
- If the mouse is the Bluetooth type, you can switch it off or unplug its connector from the computer.
Your unsuspecting target will wonder why their mouse isn’t responding and might even think it’s a problem with their computer. It’s definitely going to welcome intense rage but also great laughs when they find out how simple it is!
5. Flipped Monitor
If you want more fun, easy pranks at work, this is an option that won’t even take a minute of your time. Although, it might make your co-worker frustrated enough to find a laptop to work from home instead.
Here’s what you should do:
- Head over to your target’s computer while they’re away.
- Open the computer’s settings.
- On Windows, check the system tab and click “display.”
- Look for “display orientation” under “scale & layout,” then switch it to “portrait” or “portrait (flipped).”
- On MacOS, head over to system preferences.
- Locate the “displays” tab.
- Select the 180 degrees option on rotation.
- Don’t forget to hide your evidence by closing the menus!
Who knows? Your co-worker might be too occupied to realize they could just adjust it in the settings. Be ready to help them out when they have trouble navigating through it.
6. The Plant Board
This is one of the pranks for co-workers who sit by the window or spend too much time at their desks that they barely get up!
Note: This might be a bit messy, but cleaning up should be no issue if you get to brighten up your co-worker’s mood.
Here’s how to do it:
- Gather a bunch of sprouts enough to fill a whole keyboard.
- Carefully put them in between your target’s keyboard until the keys are no longer visible. It should look like a patch of grass!
- Leave it on the desk or set it closer to the window for some light.
When you pull this prank, just be sure your co-worker isn’t in a grumpy mood. Also, explain the joke clearly, so you don’t unintentionally offend them. If there’s one thing about pranks you wouldn’t want, it’s a bad reaction.
7. Wrapped Cubicle
A few people might think covering your co-worker’s cubicle in gift wrapping paper is a prank gone too far. But if their birthday is coming up, it’s more like those fun, practical jokes for the office!
So, here’s how to do it:
- Take a bunch of gift wrapping paper in different designs.
- Choose a couple of stuff on your co-worker’s desk to wrap. It could be the keyboard, monitor, trash bin, corkboard, pens, etc.
- You add the element of surprise by adding your actual gift to the mix.
- Add some finishing touches, like ribbons or tags.
There’s no way they wouldn’t feel the birthday spirit with a setup like that! It’s an odd way to give someone special treatment, but it does put everyone in a good mood afterward.
8. Candy Surprise
Even office workers need some sugar to keep them up and ready. So, why not give them that boost when they least expect it? Here’s how.
- Collect a bunch of candy, preferably the non-sticky type.
- Locate an unused drawer in your co-worker’s desk.
- If they don’t have any, you can find the drawer with the least items and temporarily move them to a different space.
- Fill it up with as much candy as it can handle.
Anyone would be shocked to find all their stuff turned into bags worth of candy, but at least they get a free sugar boost for the next couple of weeks!
9. The Classic Whoopie Cushion
Whether it’s a list about best friend jokes or boss day pranks, someone will bring up the iconic whoopie cushion trick. And if you haven’t come across it, then you have now!
It’s a classic we just can’t forget, so here’s how you can do it:
- Wait for your co-worker to step away from their seat.
- Then, place the whoopie cushion on the seat. If you have a chair mat, put the cushion under it.
- Make sure it lays flat or is unnoticeable.
That loud fart noise is bound to catch everyone’s attention in the office. Let’s be honest. It can get embarrassing, so make sure to clear up that it was the cushion when the laughs are over.
10. Non-Water Coolers
Some office days may be better than others. But on rare days, everyone could be in a good mood. That’s the perfect moment to try out the water-to-vodka prank!
Here’s how it goes:
- Head to the break room when no one is around.
- Check for an empty bottle to use for the new drink.
- Remove the water-filled bottle and replace it with the vodka one.
Of course, you might not be able to keep it that way, so have actual water on the side for anyone who picks up on the prank. You can also use juice if the cooler comes with a hidden compartment for the bottles.
11. Stuck Straws
If you want to do harmless pranks for work, you can try out the fake drink trick. It might take a couple of minutes to do, but it’s a fun one when you finish it just in time.
To set it up, simply follow the steps below:
- Set aside a couple of cups and straws in the break room.
- Prepare a gelatin mix with a similar color to juice or coffee.
- Pour the mixture into each cup.
- Place a straw in each cup naturally before the jelly sets.
- Leave them in the break room for your unsuspecting co-workers.
Your victims will either try out the drink or pick up the straw first. Either way, it’s sure to gather some laughs when they realize it’s Jell-O. They even get a free treat to go!
12. Fake Office Mail
Some workers usually have their mail sent to the office instead of their homes. So, it won’t be too suspicious to pull a prank with that in mind.
Here’s what you can try:
- Prepare the package. It can either be a box or an envelope.
- Print out fake details just like in real packages and address them to your target.
- You can place anything inside. A piece of paper with a funny picture, a box inside another box, or a random toy.
- Seal it and pretend to have picked it up while you were out.
In case they were actually expecting a package, let them know the whole thing is a setup to avoid any misunderstanding with their actual items.
13. Post-it Windows
Another popular prank, regardless of the time or place, is the post-it note prank. Keep in mind you might get mixed reactions to this one, so try not to take it too far. Still, it’s a good prank, especially if a surprise follows.
You can do it with the following steps:
- Locate the window closest to your target. If they don’t have windows close to their desk, you can try it on with their car window.
- Fill up the window with sticky notes. It can be blank, colored, or full of notes.
- Wait until they finally notice the scene.
Besides the fact that it’ll take a while to clean up, it’s a classic prank that doubles as one of those practical jokes for the office setting.
14. The Dollar Note
If you have a fake bill, you can try this harmless little prank on anyone in the office. It’s the kind of trick people will either ignore or fall for — and that’s exactly what makes it fun. It goes like this:
- Cut the ends of the fake bill at a certain angle. For reference, place it under a notebook or in between desks to see where you should cut.
- Attach a note to the other end. Try to make it as discreet as possible.
- Set it between a book or under a mat with only the bill part showing.
And if you want to keep your co-workers from being bummed out about the fake bill, you can add a positive message to the note!
15. Free Brown-E’s
Some pranks just need a bit of creativity to work, or maybe just really corny dad jokes. Here’s one that is sure to get a reaction from your co-workers.
Simply follow the steps below:
- Find a plate and a pan in the office break room.
- Trace and cut a bunch of letter E’s with brown paper.
- Place them onto the plate and cover them with the pan.
- Set them on the counter or put them in the fridge.
- Add a note that says there are free brownies to encourage people to check it out!
For this trick, you might have to leave real brownies aside for any co-worker who really wants a snack.
16. Keyboard Ghost
Some pranks to pull on coworkers require both your and your target’s cooperation. You need your target’s Bluetooth keyboard and your own for the keyboard ghost prank.
Here is how to do it:
- Disconnect your co-worker’s keyboard from their computer.
- Replace their keyboard with yours. It works best if you have the same one.
- Wait for them to return to their station.
- Start typing away when you see them doing the same.
Your co-worker might think they need to change their computer pretty soon. A fun way to introduce the prank is by typing it onto their screen right before they look up computer or MacBook Air alternatives!
17. A One-Man Group Chat
If you think you’re free from office pranks by working from home, you’re probably wrong! The internet gives us access to several productivity apps that make working from home easy. That includes communication tools, which also work for simple pranks.
Here’s one you can try:
- Choose a target from one of your team’s group chats.
- Set your name and photo to the same one as that person.
- Let everyone except the target know about your plan.
- Watch and wait as everyone slowly turns into them.
And remember to change it back! That way, you don’t confuse anyone during meetings and serious discussions later on.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Is a Good Time to Pull an Office Prank?
There’s really no perfect timing for pranks to pull on co-workers. Even so, it’s one way to boost morale and get spirits up at the office after a rough day or week.
It’s safe to say the best time for office pranks is when everyone seems up for it. That means no one’s in a grumpy mood or too down in the dumps. Otherwise, your joke might rub them the wrong way.
You can worry less about how it goes if you remember to execute your tricks with care and respect for your co-workers.
Can You Get Fired for Office Pranks?
In most cases, you won’t get fired for pulling a few pranks at work. But, if you go too far with the jokes, it might dent your performance. That could build up until it’s reasonable enough to let you go, especially when it affects how you work and your co-workers.
Before it gets to that point, it’s best to regulate the pranks and remind yourself to always stay within boundaries!
Wrapping it Up
Everyone needs a good laugh once in a while, even when working at the office. Next to jokes, pranking is an easy way to get those results. And on top of that, there are so many office pranks to try out.
You can do these fun surprises during special occasions, events, birthdays, and the like. As long as it doesn’t cross the line, these little tricks can help keep morale up and energize the office!
Jokes aside, if you’re looking for new ways to manage your work or personal life, then check out these online courses to start organizing your life better!
Looking for a quick pick-me-up? Elevate your productivity, one cup at a time, with a Keurig coffee machine by your side. Makes hot or iced drinks in seconds so you can get back to conquering your to-do list (or pranking your coworkers).
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Emma Collins is a tech writer for Productivity Spot. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Hackr.io, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, Switching To Mac, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.