April is known for many great things: the start of spring, the beginning of baseball season, and Easter, among them. And then, there’s April Fools’ Day. As far as we know, the custom of celebrating the first of April with pranks, jokes, and hoaxes started more than 600 years ago with a mention in “The Canterbury Tales.” And somewhere along the line, someone decided that pranks played on the job were particularly hilarious. But whether you think April Fools’ Day jokes are funny or not, there are plenty of good reasons to keep them out of the workplace – especially if you work in a manufacturing environment.
Pranks Can Disrupt Your Business
Many April Fools’ jokes are relatively quick and painless – one-liners or momentary misdirections that are resolved almost immediately. But unfortunately, the most popular practical jokes are often the most elaborate. You don’t have to search the internet long to find tales of jokesters planting grass gardens in a colleague’s computer keyboard, redecorating their cubicle like a bathroom, or filling their office with fake stuffed rats.
But while pranks like these sound funny on paper and can make for some hilarious photos, the time they take in the setup, execution, and cleanup can eat into productive time. And if they disrupt an interaction with a customer, your business could take a hit.
It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Hurt
The more elaborate and physical a prank is, the greater the chance someone could hurt. In her management advice column, “Ask a Manager,” Alison Green tells of a joke one call center worker played on another by leaving a pair of scissors in their chair. The prankster assumed their victim would notice the scissors before sitting down. They didn’t, and the result was an embarrassing emergency room visit.
Scissors are hazardous enough, but in an industrial environment, the mayhem and misery potential increase exponentially. For instance, there have been far too many incidents where workers have suffered injuries by throwing tools to – or at – each other for some inexplicable reason. And let’s not even talk about forklift races.
Hurt Feelings Can Kill Morale
Physical injuries suffered because of a workplace prank are awful. But don’t underestimate the potential of hurt feelings to wreck morale and productivity. Of course, some examples are more extreme than others: WPVI in Philadelphia reported on a meat-packing factory incident in which one employee pulled another’s chair out from under him as a joke. Days later, the wronged employee took revenge – by stabbing his co-worker to death.
But even when the harm inflicted by a joke doesn’t result in workplace violence, it can cause grudges and make for an uncomfortable environment. And that hurts your business and your customers alike.
Finding the Right Job Is No Joke
If you’re looking for a career opportunity – be it industrial or office-related – Mega Force can help. We partner with temp agencies in Fayetteville and throughout North Carolina to get jobs done. Visit our job-search page.