Pranking in the workplace

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According to research, workers from the north of England are more likely to prank their colleagues than their southern counterparts.

In a survey conducted by Kit Out My Office, 83% of workers from the north of England stated that they often take part in workplace pranks in comparison to only 69% from the south of England.

In addition to the above, 90% of workers who responded in favour of pranks said they will continue doing them despite hearing stories of people being fired as a result of a prank.

Pranks that resulted in dismissal:

  • Hiding a beeping device in a solicitor’s office

One respondent admitted to being fired for placing a beeping device in a colleague’s desk drawer. It resulted in a search by a third-party security company of the entire building for ‘listening devices’ supposedly placed by competitors.

  • Scaring a co-worker in a dangerous environment

An electrician was fired for attempting to scare a co-worker whilst they were working on a high-voltage device that could’ve resulted in serious injury.

  • Accidentally breaking office equipment

An intern was dismissed after placing a can of frozen shaving foam with a small hole in the canister and leaving it under a group of desks. As the canister and contents warmed, the foam filled the space under two desks and destroyed two workstations.

Workers aged 36-40 were the most likely to perform regular pranks, with 69% stating that they have performed a prank in the last three months, versus only 41% of workers aged 25-30.

Furthermore, only 47% of workers aged 18-24 said they had performed a prank recently, which is perhaps surprising as younger people are often considered to have a more childish temperament.

The top 5 most common office pranks:

  1. Cover the sensor on a mouse
  2. Buy a box of doughnuts and replace them with healthy snacks
  3. Plug a wireless mouse into a colleague’s computer and sporadically move it
  4. Unroll toilet paper, draw a spider on it and roll it back up
  5. Place the waste from a hole punch

If you’re looking to prank your colleagues, Kit Out My Office has developed a list of pranks and included easy-to-follow instructions for each one.