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April Fool’s Day Risk Management: 7 Tips to Avoid Being Pranked

ANDREA TARRELL
Director of Marketing at HNI

April Fool’s Day is a serious concern for risk managers in many organizations.  Did you know that most business interruption policies will actually cover closing this day of the year -- just because of the number of claims that result from damage caused by office pranks?

Me neither. (Hey, did I get ya there for a second?)

Since we can’t shut our businesses down, we need to prepare for the inevitable hijinks that will ensue.  I’m talking about pranks like:

So what do you to avoid being a victim this April Fool’s Day?  We have some prank avoidance techniques to help manage your risk in this area:

1. Be Prepared.

Ever forget the date or what day of the week it is?  Maybe have a Tuesday that feels like a Friday? Today is NOT a day where such slip ups will fly.    

Be vigilant. Be alert. Be ready.

2. Trust no one.

Co-worker being a little nicer than usual?  Someone suddenly cares how your day is going?   Don’t buy it. The less you engage in small talk and social niceties, the fewer your chances of getting pranked.  

3. Just don’t get excited -- about anything.

Stay frosty, and don’t react to any news you may hear. For example if:

     ...you’re named employee of the month.

     …your friend gets engaged.  

     ...your CEO announces you’re opening a new location in Florida.

If it’s true, the high fives will keep until April 2nd.

4. Put any bodily functions on hold.

Many classic pranks involve messing with your food and drinks, or catching unsuspecting victims while their guard is down -- while they’re sleeping, sitting down, going to the bathroom, etc.  

The solution here is simple: don’t do any of these things. Industry experts recommend starting to regulate your fluid intake the night before the big day as a best practice.

5. Go on the offensive.

If you think about it, you could probably count on one hand the most likely pranking offenders in your organization.  Turn the tables on these individuals and strike first while you have the element of surprise.

That being said, don’t start anything you can’t finish. Retaliation is all but certain, so if you’re going to go there, GO BIG.  

6. Maybe keep the boss out of it.

If senior management is the target of your offensive drive, maybe reconsider…. or at least read these blogs first:

7. Lighten up already.

Okay, so your prank avoidance techniques and careful planning failed, and you fell victim to a prank.  Well my friend, it’s just one day of the year.  So laugh it off, and then post about what happened to you in the comments!

Did any April Tomfoolery take place at your office this year?  Any slick tricks to prevent?  Comment below and let us know!