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April 1, 2021

The Best Office Pranks to Bring Your Team Closer (Even When You’re Working Remotely)

Illustration of a head in a water cooler with the text "Office Pranks" next to it.

These days we could all do with a laugh, which is why we’re so excited that the most hilarious day of the year is finally here.

As pranksters around the world gear up for some serious fooling, the rest of us are holding our breath—because even if you work remotely, there are still a ton of remote pranks to pull this April Fools’ Day. 

From Nicolas Cage-ifying your colleague’s desktop to hosting a fake birthday party, the remote prank possibilities are truly hilarious—and whatever mischief you get up to (as long as you keep it respectful) a little practical joke here and there can help bring your remote teams closer than ever

We’ve pulled together some of the best HR pranks from around the web, so get ready for some rib-tickling hilarity that’ll bring a smile to your whole team. 

Office pranks: The ground rules

First off, we need to set some ground rules to keep those office pranks firmly in the zero-regret hilarity-zone. 

  • Stay remote: No matter what the celebration is, we’re still living through a pandemic—so make sure you remain socially distanced and safe. 
  • Keep it reversible: Your boss won’t appreciate you causing any major disruptions, so make sure everything you do can be undone
  • Don’t cross the line: There’s a fine line between a good prank and a bad one, and not everyone has the same sense of humor, so make sure to keep pranks on the right side of funny. 
  • Stay respectful: We know you’d never do this, but we have to say it anyway: don’t get personal, and never disrespect anyone’s race, ethnicity, gender, religion or sexual orientation.  

Make sense? Awesome.

Now we’re done with the serious talk, let’s move onto the funnies. 

Office prank #1: The fake birthday

Let’s kick off with a classic remote-prankster gag.

We’ve all been there: someone you’ve known for a while gets your name, age or birthday totally wrong, and you don’t know whether to tell them or not.  

This prank takes that well-known faux pas to the next level. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Tell your team you plan to hold a fake birthday party for one of your colleagues on your next Zoom catch up. 
  • On a day that is definitely not their birthday, ask everyone to set up a birthday background, wear a party hat, and even send them a small gift or group birthday cake. 
  • When they log on, pull your party poppers, all sing happy birthday, and try to keep a straight face as you watch them squirm. 🥳

Office prank #2: The remote task kill 

One red-faced Reddit user caught out his IT-whizz colleagues when he realized they were killing tasks on his computer remotely. 

“We all work in IT. I found out [my colleagues] are remotely killing tasks on my computer, but it took me a while to find out because I'm fairly new to IT and they are fairly experienced. They like doing it because of how worked up I was getting over it and not being able to figure it out for a while because the thought of them messing with it didn't even cross my mind. Apparently, they think it's hilarious when I get vocally pissed off at my computer,” said the Reddit user. 

But don’t worry—that’s not the end of the story. 

Last we heard he was looking for a way to get his ultimate IT prank revenge… 😉

Office prank #3: Get your kitten face on

Back in January, the world went wild for a Texas lawyer who accidentally kitten-ified himself with a filter during a remote trial. 

Over 10M views later, lawyer Rod Ponton is riding his 15-minutes of fame well, “Our nation needs a collective laugh, we’ve had a tough year… and if they have it at my expense, go have it—I’m happy,” he said in an Inside Edition interview. 

This April Fools’ Day there’s guaranteed to be a ton of kitten faces appearing on Zoom chats. But remember, as Ponton pointed out the filter does not mean you’re actually a cat. 😹 

Office prank #4: “Can you still hear us?”

Ahh Zoom. The remote conferencing software that’s introduced the world to stop-start meetings, hilarious backdrops, and of course, kitten-themed filters. 

Love it or hate it, Zoom offers pranksters a ton of opportunities for mischief. 

The world’s current favorite? The pretend freeze-frame. A great option for pranking or just getting out of that boring finance meeting you never wanted to attend in the first place. 

Okay, so after a year of remote meetings, this one is a bit old-school. But Japan-based artist Marina Fujiwara has taken the traditional freeze-frame gag to the next level, with a simple machine to fool colleagues even further. 

Marina’s ‘Escape-button’ is designed to flip a ‘wheel of death’ into view. Simply hit the button, up pops the wheel, and you ‘freeze’ while your other hand drags the mouse over to the ‘End Meeting’ button. 

Useless? Probably. Hilarious? You bet. 

Office prank #5: The unexpected package

The mail has long been used to surprise unsuspecting friends and family—so much so that there are a ton of products out there specifically designed for postal pranks. 

Here are three of our favorites to get you prank-ready: 

  • The frustration box: Imagine your colleague spending way too much time trying to open this mystery package—only to find it’s filled with sand. 
  • The glitter bomb: What’s even more annoying than not being able to open a mail package? Opening it and getting totally covered in glitter
  • The endlessly singing birthday card: Remember the fake birthday prank? Put the cherry on the (birthday) cake by sending this annoying ever-singing card—and sit back knowing you’ve just aced the best fake birthday ever.

Office prank #6: Nicolas Cage-ify the situation

This prank has to be one of our all-time favorites—but you need to know your way around a computer to do this one remotely. 

The idea behind it is simple: download the Ncage Chrome extension onto your colleague’s computer to swap all their internet images with random pics of Nicholas Cage—then sit back and chuckle as they get 100% Ncage overwhelm. 

What’s not to love? 😂

Office prank #7: Go wild with autocorrect

This is another simple tech prank to drive your colleagues mad and have you clutching your ribs with laughter. 

All you need to do is log into your shared Google doc and use autocorrect to swap certain words. 

Here’s how: 

  • In the doc, go to Tools > Preferences
  • Choose some regularly used words to switch out. For example, ‘Zoom’ could be swapped with ‘kitten face’, or ‘the team’ could be swapped with ‘Her Majesty’s Regiment’.
  • Whenever someone types in one of your chosen words it will get swapped out with the alternative. All you have to do now is wait for your invite to the next ‘kitten face meeting with Her Majesty's Regiment’.

Office prank #8: Introduce your Zoom clone

Dodgy Zoom backgrounds have turned into a symbol of the 2020’s—so it’s only right that you manipulate yours to freak out your colleagues this April Fools’ Day. 

One Reddit user has created an awesome video showing how to make it seem like you’re hanging out with your very own clone.  

Here’s how it works: 

  • Film a short video of yourself walking around your office and interacting with the camera—smile, wave, and generally be hilarious. 
  • Then head into Zoom, click on the arrow in the bottom left and select ‘Choose Virtual Background’.
  • Upload your video by clicking on the + button. 
  • Then log into your meeting and watch as your colleagues break down with laughter. 

Pull some sidesplitting office pranks to remember

The great thing about remote working is that no one expects a prank at home—so no matter what mischief you get up to this April Fools’ Day, know that your remote office pranks will go down in history. 

From playing with Zoom filters to posting the most frustrating package your colleague will ever receive, there are so many hilarious ways to have fun this year as you get used to working (and playing) remotely.

Be safe, be secretive, and most of all get weird.