Key Point: When you live and work in a great culture, “having a laugh” is a daily occurrence. Humor and heart-felt laughter reinforces the belief that while work is serious, the workplace doesn’t always have to be. In fact, in our organization, we state that it is our intention to have fun everyday. In this spirit, I love April Fools Day because it invites us to take a moment for some creative pranks that ideally gets us to laugh at ourselves. The following include some fun April Fools examples in the workplace:
In 2013, Twitter announced it was changing to a two-tiered service. The free version “Twttr,” would not support vowels and only allow tweets with consonants, while “Twitter” would become a $5 dollar/month service that supports any letters your heart desires. “Because our users come first, we believe that ‘Y’ should always be free to everyone–today and forever,” its statement read. “We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and ‘dense’ form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream.”
Internet Eyewear company Warby Parker claimed it was releasing a dog eyeglasses vertical, cleverly named Warby Barker in 2012. Products included a monocle for dogs to make them look more distinguished. An “April Fools!” message popped up when gullible customers added the $95 doggy glasses to their online shopping cart.
Starbucks announced the addition of two new sizes to their cup lineup on April 1/2012: The “Plenta” (128 fluid ounces) and the “Micra” (two fluid ounces). The company also proposed alternative uses for the new cups, such as a rain hat for the Plenta and a kitten dish for the Micra.
Google is not only a technology powerhouse, they’re pretty good at April Fools pranks . In 2007 they announced their new product, “Gmail Paper.” Google’s “newest” service promised to print out your emails for you, stack them neatly in a box, and ship them to your door. Along with the announcement, they also launched a pretty convincing website that explained the service in detail. Obviously a lot of customers were scratching their heads before understanding the prank. Again in 2011, “Gmail Motion” promised users they could “control Gmail with your body.” Apparently, many people took the joke to heart and started waving and making other gestures they expected to translate into an email.
Burger King is known to have pulled off one of the best all time spoofs when announced it was introducing a “left-handed Whopper” to its menu on April 1, 1998. The new burger would be the same as the traditional, but its ingredients would be rotated 180 degrees for optimal left-handed enjoyment. It took the chain a full day to explain it had all been a prank, but not before stores reported thousands of customers wanting to order either a left and right-handed versions.
- Have fun creating laugh inducing pranks on April 1. (Or make your own date). Of course, these pranks should be well intended and in good taste. Ideally, the spoofs become the source of memorable stories.
- Be a personal leader in modeling good-natured humor. It’s ok to start a meeting or phone call with a story or experience that helps us laugh and share in the emotion. Joy connects us and builds relationships.
Fun Everyday in the Triangle,
One Millennial View: When I aim for my next job, I’m thinking ONE thing – “perks.” Duh, all Millennials do. At the very least, we deserve contemporary architecture, the newest technology, a stocked Keurig with the most desirable K-Cups, a spacious and generous Whole Foods catered kitchen, a daily organic cage-free omelette bar, a recreational gaming room, a killer gym, on-demand masseuse services, complimentary dry cleaning, interns to run our errands at a moment’s notice, exclusive media invites, at least one accessible company suite at every local sports arena (or good seats if you’re cheap), and occasional access to a corporate jet. You know, the “basics.” (Hey, multiple businesses have SLIDES now instead of stairs, I’m not even asking for that).
Ok, April Fools. A working environment where we can laugh a little would do just fine.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis