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How and when to do cubicle pranks, or whether to do them at all, depends upon several factors, including company culture, the individuals involved and the nature of the prank. At their best, pranks can provide a chance for co-workers to bond and lift spirits in the workplace. In other cases, a prank may cause distress, excessive loss of productivity, or even job termination. It is advisable to keep in mind that the workplace is a professional atmosphere and to think carefully about possible results before engaging in any sort of prank.
Some of the most important cons of cubicle pranks to take into consideration involve company and supervisor policies. It may be forbidden to engage in this kind of activity and so it is wise to be sure of the rules before playing a prank. These policies can be organization-wide, but they may also only affect a department or a group and depend upon the preferences of a supervisor. Depending on how elaborate the prank is planned to be, it may be wise to run the idea by a supervisor first. If the supervisor is to be the object of the prank, extra care and thought are advisable.
It is also possible for certain people to be offended by cubicle pranks. Though they are generally meant to be a sign of humorous camaraderie, some people may resent the intrusion on their work space. Others may feel that they are the object of derision. It is generally important to carefully observe work style, personality, and sense of humor in a coworker before engaging in cubicle pranks. In extreme cases, a poorly-received prank may even result in legal action.
Another factor to consider when planning cubicle pranks is company property. It is wise to plan pranks that are not likely to cause damage or take up excessive company resources, including clean-up time and supplies. Depending on the nature of the prank, it may be advisable to bring in outside materials, rather than using company items.
Safety is another factor to consider when planning cubicle pranks. Some pranks can put the subject at risk of physical or emotional harm. It is usually a good idea to consider factors such as potential allergic reactions, phobias and religious beliefs.
Cubicle pranks can also be beneficial to the workplace. They can be a way to welcome a new employee or say goodbye to a departing coworker in a humorous way. Pranks can also be a way to celebrate a personal or professional victory, such as a coworker’s wedding or successful acquisition of a new client. A well-executed prank can be a way to increase employee morale and productivity by creating a more upbeat, energetic mood in the office.