All too often we must be serious at work, so I enjoy having some fun! This can be accomplished in many ways including some occasional office antics. I’m not talking about the malicious type that causes harm to others or could cause trouble, but rather a quick and playful trick to encourage laughter. I’ve come up with a couple favorites, so plot out a fellow employee you know will be a good sport and give these a try.
1. The Anonymous Note.
When a co-worker is not at their computer, quickly grab a post-it and marker then write … Please see me. Thank you! Secretly stick the note on their monitor then if possible walk away or look real busy … a headset nicely adds to the effect. If they don’t get to you then follow-up later in the day by saying or messaging something about it then listen to their story on various reactions while enjoying a laugh together.
Why is it fun? When there is no name associated to such message, it’s always intriguing to see how people respond. Few will choose not to react while most will seek out the creator, often starting with someone at a higher level. It becomes a scavenger hunt to figure it out creating some interesting communication and camaraderie along the way.
I prefer a yellow post-it because it is both a happy and slightly deceitful color; a black marker works best since it’s both mysterious and formal.
Doing this alone creates the opportunities to get others in the future and also doesn’t put them in an awkward position if asked about the notes origination.
Not being around or looking busy creates a diversion away from you so as to not have to lie if approached. If they come to you first then ask how they knew? Give them a high-five and they now are your accomplice to try it on someone else.
2. The Gross Out.
When a co-worker has briefly stepped away from their computer, grab some hand sanitizer. Put globs on the keyboard spacebar and keys that either spell your name or theirs. If they have a mouse, it’s also fun to put a dab or two on it. You will want to see their immediate reaction, so look busy and try containing your laugh but then watch as they instantly make a face of question and disgust.
Why is it fun? The instant response to the touch of an unexpected texture creates panic! Most people will look completely puzzled then their facial expressions reveal disgust. Those in on the antic will instantly laugh to the reaction which then creates some sort of verbal outburst like “what is that?"
Apply generously because hand sanitizer can dry quickly. Non-scented is preferred if you really want them the question the substance.
This antic is more enjoyable when you include others to watch the reaction.
Immediately after, let the co-worker know it's sanitizer although they will still be skeptical.
Being on the giving end of the occasional antic is a nice way to lighten the mood. Just remember, good nature retaliation is often a part of the fun so you may need to be on the lookout for a few days.