Pranks were a big deal on the first team I worked with at Google, but it was hard to think up harmless, doable stunts. Now that I’ve left Google and am working on my own, I decided to compensate by brainstorming some prank-worthy emails that you can send to your co-workers this April Fool’s Day.
To spice up your water-cooler conversations this week, pick out an email below to send out to your office-mates. Find one that is just believable enough that your colleagues won’t realize they’re being pranked, until they do :) Happy hijinks!
No more belt
Subject: No leather in the office, starting tomorrow
Email: HR just notified me that we have a new employee who starts tomorrow that is allergic to leather. To protect his health and productivity, all leather will be prohibited from the office. This includes bags, shoes, pants, belts, and any other leather accessories. Please leave your leather at home! Thanks for your support.
Ho ho ho
Subject: Company-wide Christmas apparel tomorrow
Email: I just got notice from our CMO that we’ll be filming for the company Holiday greeting video tomorrow. All employees are expected to appear in the video, so please wear red and green and any other holiday apparel you own (Santa suits, Christmas sweaters, reindeer noses, and onesies encouraged).
Subject: New office policy
Email: This has been a particularly bad flu season, and we’re concerned about how disease affects productivity. After much discussion and review of recent research, leadership has decided to issue an office policy against sneezing. If you need to sneeze, please go to the bathroom to avoid spreading germs and wash your hands after the sneeze. Do not sneeze at your desk! This new policy starts tomorrow.
Subject: Help me keep my eyes well!
Email: After several years of getting increasingly bad eyes and stronger prescriptions, I’ve finally gotten a diagnosis. My optometrist informed me that I have a condition in which the color black is damaging my eyesight, sort of like an allergy. I’ll be wearing shaded glasses for the next couple of weeks while I undergo treatment. Please refrain from using black on any team documents or presentations (bright colors are okay).
Subject: Support my nephew!
Email: Hey friends — My nephew, Adrian, is running the “Fun Run” 5K for charity at his middle school this weekend. He chose to raise money for the Americans Against Constipation Fund (AACF) and is looking for sponsorships. Please consider donating $10-$40 for this important cause! Thanks for contributing.
Save the planet
Subject: Pro-environmental change to our office supplies
Email: Hi everyone! Starting this week, our supply closet will no longer stock staples, paper clips, or tape, for environmental reasons. For fastening paper, we will provide organic glue. Thanks for helping us reduce our office footprint!
Subject: IT swap
Email: Due to recent security revelations, our office switching to Chromebooks. Tomorrow, you’ll find that your desktop computers have been replaced with the Samsung Chromebook Plus. If you have a company laptop, please exchange it tomorrow morning before getting to work. Thanks to our IT and operations team for organizing the swap.
Say no to drugs
Subject: Improve mental health by switching to tea
Email: In light of research about the damaging effects of caffeine on mental health, we’ve decided to switch our coffee to herbal tea. Starting tomorrow, our office manager will brew herbal and black teas, available for free in the micro-kitchen. I encourage you to choose the decaffeinated option :) Coffee will no longer be offered.
Subject: New board member
Email: Starting tomorrow, we’ve have a new board member and advisor who will be touring the office. Mr. Rex Tillerson is an accomplished businessman and public servant who has recently decided to invest in our upcoming round. As always, please be courteous and helpful when he’s walking around!
No shoes, no shirt
Subject: Company swag for summer!
Email: In celebration of spring, we’re giving out company-branded swimsuits! Come to my desk tomorrow to pick up logo-ed trunks and bikinis.
Subject: Accepting transfer apps for new company office
Email: It’s important to our COO to support developing economies and facilitate open borders, so we have decided to open an office in Bali! Construction of the office will begin next week. The new South Pacific facilities will include beachfront conference rooms, high-end video conferencing technology, an on-staff masseuse, and local residences for employees. Please notify me if you’d like to be added to the transfer list.
Subject: Mandatory unconscious bias training
Email: A recent analysis showed that 60% of our employees have birthdays in October. This fraction is shockingly high, and a follow-up committee is investigating what’s going on. In the meantime, we’re asking everyone to complete mandatory unconscious bias training to ensure that candidates born in other months of the year are treated fairly. Will be sending out the link shortly; please review by the end of the week!
Subject: Warning: Yodeling convention
Email: FYI, our office manager informed me this morning that there will be a yodeling convention happening tomorrow on the three floors below us. Please bring earplugs or headphones if the noise will bother you.
Subject: Hallway to be nap area
Email: To attract top tech talent and stay competitive in recruiting, company leadership has decided to convert the hallway to a nap area as a perk for employees. You’re welcome to enjoy 20 min-1 hour power naps in the nap area any time of day (pillows provided). Respect your peers by remaining silent in the hallway — no phone calls, conversations, or meetings, please.
Subject: Space reorganization
Email: We’ve decided to reorganize our cubicles to achieve better organizational synergy. According to the recent findings of our McKinsey consultant, reshaping our work area into a pentagonal hive will improve communication and collaboration across teams. We ask that you clear off your desk tomorrow morning to make it easier to move.
Subject: Fwd: Video of CEO twerking at Christmas party
Email: LMFAO I just found this in my saved Snaps
Subject: Plumbing outage tomorrow
Email: Plumbing in our building will be turned off from noon to 5. If you need a bathroom during that time, please use the toilet at the Subway down the street (I’ve already called them to make sure this is alright). Thanks and sorry for the inconvenience
Take a hike
Subject: Please make alternative parking arrangements
Email: According to a new County code, our parking lot has been restricted as it is the breeding ground for a rare type of bird. Employees will no longer be able to park at our office building. Please plan for alternative means of transportation or a different parking lot. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.
Subject: CTO request
Email: Our CTO has decided to start learning Mandarin so that he can better communicate with the engineering team. If you speak Mandarin, he’s asked that you talk to him exclusively in Chinese. He may act confused or ask you to repeat in English, but he has told us ahead of time to not go easy on him; he wants a truly immersive experience.
Subject: Camera crews starting tomorrow
Email: I’m thrilled to announce that our office was chosen to be part of a reality show! Starting tomorrow, you’ll notice camera crews setting up and wandering around the office. The name/premise of the reality show is secret, but you don’t need to do anything special. Just behave normally and continue business as usual!
Subject: Scent vendors
Email: Our office managers have decided to experiment with new odors for the office. Tomorrow, a vendor will bring samples of new scents and perfumes that we’re considering. Please stop by my desk to test out and vote on your favorites.