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The people of Belarus have discarded their work wear and turned up to the office naked, taking a mispronunciation by their president seriously after he told them to "get undressed and work".

President Alexander Lukashenko was giving a speech on technology in which he intended to tell people to develop and work – but the Russian word for develop (razvivatsa) is allegedly very similar to the word for disrobe (razdevatsa), and people decided to take him literally when he muddled up the two.

"Innovations, IT technologies, privatisation — it is all clear. We've conquered all of them. But in the end, it is very simple: one should get undressed and work," he said.

Cue hundreds of people sharing pictures of themselves hard at work in their birthday suits – with some featuring whole teams of employees naked in the office.

People sharing the hashtag #getnakedandwork claimed they were just taking advice from their leader, or being 'good citizens', Russian media outlets reported, with people seemingly relishing the idea of poking fun at their president.

Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994, has been described as ruling Belarus with 'an iron fist' and has made controversial decision including the imprisonment of opponents.

And given his dictatorial style, Belarusian workers seemed to enjoy the joke even more.

Some people from other countries also joined in with the hashtag, while others in Belarus took things a step further and made up songs or filmed videos to celebrate the unusual occasion.