April Fools' Day: No Joking Matter

Survey Shows Executives Frown on Office Pranks

TORONTO, March 23 /CNW/ - Want to pull off an April Fools' joke that will go down in company history? Not so fast. Nearly 6 out of ten (58 per cent) of advertising and marketing executives interviewed by The Creative Group consider April Fools' pranks unsuitable for the office.

The Canadian study was developed by The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service providing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis, and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on more than 250 telephone interviews -- 200 with marketing executives randomly selected from companies with 100 or more employees and 50 with advertising executives randomly selected from agencies with 20 or more employees.

Advertising and marketing executives were asked, "How appropriate do you think it is to play April Fools' jokes in the office?" Their responses:

    Very appropriate ....................................   4%
    Somewhat appropriate ................................  33%
    Not very appropriate ................................  25%
    Not at all appropriate ..............................  33%
    Don't know/no answer ................................   5%

"With many creative teams challenged with high workloads, office pranks may be viewed more as a distraction than an amusement," said Lara Dodo, vice president for The Creative Group's Canadian operations. "April Fools' jokes can also potentially alienate or hurt someone's feelings if not carried out in good taste."

A certain degree of levity, however, can have a positive impact on the workplace, noted Dodo. "Well-intentioned humour when shared amongst teams can create a positive work environment, especially when business is demanding. Some light-hearted wit can increase morale and motivation, resulting in improved productivity and retention."

The Creative Group offers three tips for adding levity to the workplace without crossing the line:

    1.  Honour office "superstars." Remember senior superlatives from high
        school: most school spirit, friendliest, and best all around? Why not
        recognize the MVPs at your firm? You can give awards for "best
        penmanship," "tidiest workspace" or "most likely to tweet company
        news" -- just be sure to keep it clean, not mean. If you want to go
        all out, hold an awards ceremony, complete with red carpet walks,
        printed certificates and short acceptance speeches.

    2.  Create some confusion. Pick a lesser-known holiday to celebrate, like
        International Dance Day (Apr. 29) or Do Something Nice Day (Oct. 5).
        Organize activities surrounding the event, such as a dance-off or
        designated time when employees can surprise their coworkers with a

    3.  Have fun year-round. Office "play" needn't be restricted to April
        Fools' Day. Periodically have employees come together to celebrate a
        topic of their choice, like "flashback to the '80s" or "favourite
        reality TV stars." Create costume or trivia contests to add to the

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project basis. The Creative Group's internal account managers typically have prior experience working within the creative industry, which helps them better understand their clients' needs and their freelancers' unique talents. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., the firm has offices in major markets across Canada and the United States. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group's award-winning career magazine, can be found at www.creativegroup.com. For more workplace and career advice, follow The Creative Group at www.facebook.com/thecreativegroup or www.twitter.com/creativegroup.

SOURCE The Creative Group

For further information: For further information: THE CREATIVE GROUP, Kristie Perrotte, Suite 840, 181 Bay Street, Toronto, ON, M5J 2T3, (416) 350-2330, kristie.perrotte@rhi.com

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