A company April Fool’s Day party is a workplace event held on or around April 1 to celebrate the pranks often played on this day. Traditionally, April Fool’s jokes stop at noon on April 1, but companies can choose to celebrate in the afternoon too.

Why Host a Company April Fool’s Day Party?

April Fool’s Day is a non-religious event and is a great way to include many people of varying backgrounds and beliefs at your workplace. It is also a relaxed, unofficial holiday, so it can be a casual way to celebrate together. Hosting an event for April Fool’s can:

  • Build company culture by creating memories and traditions you can enjoy as a team.
  • Encourage creativity in coming up with fun prank and joke ideas.
  • Build camaraderie by letting your team laugh together.
  • Give you a chance to recognize employees by offering a party and potentially awarding prizes as part of the events.

How Can You Host a Successful Company April Fool’s Day Party?

The most important thing to remember about workplace April Fool’s parties is that everyone’s sense of humor is different. Religious, cultural, and personal differences mean that what is funny for one person may be unfunny or even upsetting and offensive for someone else. Therefore, a top priority for any April Fool’s event is to make sure feelings aren’t hurt while you encourage your team members to have fun. It is important to ensure that pranks do not get out of hand and cause damage or injury while maintaining a warm atmosphere. To prepare for the day, you can: 

  • Have a discussion about April Fool’s Day well before the event: Whether you decide on a party or not, some team members may be interested in celebrating April Fool’s Day with pranks or jokes. If someone has life-threatening allergies or suffers from anxiety, pranks can create serious problems, so it is important to set some ground rules for what is and isn’t allowed. Having a party can be one way to limit the pranks and to ensure that those who don’t want to take part don’t have to. You can also use Connecteam surveys to find out what people might (and might not) like to do for workplace April Fool’s events. 
  • Plan ahead: Send out information about your April Fool’s party or events a few weeks ahead (or even a few months ahead if elaborate costumes will be part of the fun). If many of your workers are deskless, consider virtual or asynchronous events. You can have everyone post their favorite “bad jokes” online or take photos of their fun costumes.
  • Define what is allowed and what is not: Racial or gender-based jokes and costumes have no place at your party. In your party invitation, include some guidelines to help people choose jokes and outfits that fit in with your company’s culture while emphasizing that the goal is to have fun. Using Connecteam video training, you can create a course about what is acceptable in the workplace and distribute this ahead of time.
  • Give team members a chance to opt out: Since not everyone enjoys jokes, pranks, or April Fool’s Day, you should give people the option not to take part. For example, if you’re having a virtual party, let people RSVP. You can also create a group chat on Connecteam’s secure work chat that people can join if they want to take part. Or, you can limit pranks and your April Fool’s party to one room in your workspace, so employees can avoid that area if they want to.
  • Always consider whether an idea could be harmful or offensive: Avoid any events, jokes, or pranks that could result in embarrassment, upset, injury, or property damage. For this reason, it’s best to avoid physical jokes, such as putting plastic film over a door.
  • Keep it light: Avoid serious subjects. “Joking” that someone is fired or is quitting, for example, can cause real distress. For the same reason, avoid anything that affects a person’s work. Similarly, if someone is working to a deadline and a prank makes their login screen inaccessible, that can be stressful.
  • Avoid impacting your clients: Clients may be upset or confused if the excellent service they expect from you is affected by April Fool’s. Even creating a “prank” press release or company Facebook page can backfire if clients see it.
  • Set a budget: Decide how much you want to spend on food, drinks, gifts, and everything else.

What Are Some Fun Ideas for a Company April Fool’s Day Party?

If you’re not sure what to do for April Fool’s, survey your team to see if they are excited to try any of the following options. You can also mix and match these ideas to create your own custom April Fool’s event:

  • Crown April Fool’s royalty: Choose a king, queen, or April Fool’s royal court to oversee the events and hand out prizes. Create or buy crowns for your April Fool’s nobility to wear.
  • Choose a Theme: Fun themes might include “dad jokes” or “bad puns.” Your team members can enjoy sharing these or decorating your workplace with them. Funny memes, amusing filters, and big hats can be great themes for a virtual or asynchronous party. Just post pictures of your filters or hats or swap memes over chat. 
  • Make it a costume party: You can have teams dress up, either around a specific theme, or by adding novelty hats or glasses to their look. You can even make it a costume contest.
  • Consider an April Fool’s lunch or breakfast: You can add some fun to the event by having the food cut into unusual shapes or by serving the “wrong” food (like breakfast food for lunch or vegetables in a donut box).
  • Comedy workshops: Offer virtual or in-person joke writing workshops with a comedy writer. Your team can learn to write jokes, and you can even cap off the event with a performance from employees who want to take part.
  • Funny news: On a team chat or online, have your team share funny news and jokes throughout the day.
  • Photo contest: Ask employees to find or take funny photos and share them online or in a group chat. Vote on the funniest ones.
  • Karaoke: Karaoke is always good for some laughs, especially if your team tries to sing badly on purpose or chooses silly songs.
  • Prank exchange: This is an easy way to allow pranks while reducing the risk of distress. Have any team member who wants to take part in pranks put their name in a hat. Beside their name, have them include any type of prank they don’t enjoy. Have everyone taking part pull one name out of the hat. The name they pick is the person they will prank on April Fool’s.
  • Gag gifts: Silly string, plastic slime, novelty glasses, and other fun gifts can be great to hand out on April Fool’s as part of your party.

Above All, Have Fun

April Fool’s is a chance to have fun and even get a little silly as a team. It’s also the type of holiday that anyone can take part in, including leadership, new hires, deskless employees, and remote workers. No matter your company culture or makeup, you can create a fun and safe virtual or in-person party.