April Fools' Day guide to office humour

April Fools' Day is a great time to bring some much needed humour to the office, but anything more than an opportunely placed woopie cushion could see your career blown away in one anticlimactic moment.

To ensure you don't accidently raspberry yourself into unemployment, we recommend that you read our April Fools' Day guide to office humour.

Adhere to the company culture

Whether it runs on the hushed tones of a library or all the energy of a circus top, cultures vary between companies, so it's important not to overstep the boundaries that have become implicitly set over time. Tip, if you're usually a quiet and timid office, refrain from putting cling film over the toilet.

The culture is the DNA of the business and usually reflects the collective personality of the workforce and/or the employers. Within this make-up will derive the office's sense of humour and whether it's based on sarcasm, innuendo or practical jokes, be wary that expressing an alien form will inevitably not got down well.

Laugh with, not at

Just because you find it easy to laugh at yourself, doesn't mean that everyone else is so comfortable in seeing their character exposed for comedic gain. Unfortunately, humour between the playground and the office doesn't seem to mature as we grow up and it's all too easy to make a victim out of a little light-hearted 'banter' (is there a worst word in the English language?)

The line between *ahem* banter and bullying is a fine and increasingly blurred one so it's always best to play on the side of caution and ensure you keep things inclusive. Laughing AT colleagues rather than WITH them can easily be lost in translation and result in a frosty atmosphere on the office floor.

Pick your moments

There's a time and a place for everything and this old adage certainly couldn't ring truer than when applied to the office environment. Regardless of the amount of hours you spend gazing out of the window and contemplating life's decisions, you're sat in a place of work and professional outcomes far out prioritise your need to break the cycle by putting salt in the sugar pot.

Yes, April Fools Day does seems like the perfect time to unleash some classic comedy but is that meeting with an important client really the best moment to pull the chair out from under a colleague? Laughter helps us through the day but remember that you're at the office, not a comedy club.

Final thought

The line of what's acceptable in the workplace is decidedly hazy and April 1st seems intent on making that line a bona fide trip hazard. Sure, everyone loves a joke, but it's important to remember that what might be seen as a practical joke by you, can be interpreted as bullying by others.

So play jokes, have fun but heed our advice to guarantee that you're not the real fool this April Fools' Day.