There are many things that you should avoid in the workplace, especially surprises.
When someone says they don't like surprises it's because they literally don't like them. The reality is that no one likes surprises and we should avoid them as much as possible in order to prevent tension between people.
The workplace is the least of all places to throw a surprise. The main reason being that it doesn't look professional on you to do so. So it all depends on the type of workplace you are in. The more sophisticated the workplace, the more you should avoid surprises. I know for a fact that in other types of working environment like factories, tech companies and other casual workplaces, surprises are very common.
How do you know if surprises are good or not for your type of workplace. Well if you don't know, don't be the first one to jump into doing one because you are risking too much here. So simply just avoid any kind of surprises in the workplace and that way you can guarantee yourself more years working for that company.