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Celebrating Halloween at Work Safely: Costumes, Themes, and Ideas

20 Oct


Halloween can be an exciting time of year and a great way to incorporate fun and team building into your workplace. When it comes to any type of holiday celebration at work, there are many dos and don’ts and best practices to follow. Here are some tips and tricks to make your Halloween work celebration something everyone will enjoy.

Costume Ideas

Halloween is a holiday to dress up in costumes—both spooky and creative. Managers can take this opportunity to incorporate team building with group costumes. You can pick a theme, which could be related to what your team does, and come up with costume ideas your crew can put together. Some non-department related ideas could include everyone dressing up as superheroes, crayons (where everyone is a different color), dominos, a sports team, or dress from a specific decade (80’s themed). Companies can include a costume contest where departments, or individual employees, receive awards or small prizes based on who has the best costume. Categories could include the most original, funniest, and/or best overall.

Whatever you choose for your costume(s), it’s best practice to make sure they adhere to your company’s dress code, don’t cause safety concerns, or could be seen as inappropriate. For example, political and religious-themed costumes are a don’t in the workplace. If you’re going for a “scarier” approach, make sure the costumes aren’t excessively frightening and weapons are not included. A good way to ensure your costume(s) aren’t offensive is to ask yourself, “would anyone be offended—even slightly—by my costume,” and if the answer is yes, or you feel any hesitation or doubt, you should change to a new idea.

Office Decoration Ideas

After costumes, Halloween decorations are another element of celebrating the holiday. Again, managers can take this chance for team bonding by selecting a theme for decorating the office/desk spaces/cubicles. Similar rules apply to decorations as they do with costumes. Employees should not use any items that might be considered offensive, decorations shouldn’t obstruct any fire exits or violate safety codes/procedures, and each employee should be responsible for cleaning up their workspace after the holiday.  Some companies have decorating competitions where employees with the most festive or unique workspace decorations receive an award or small prize.

Party Ideas

Some companies may dedicate time during Halloween for an office holiday party, where employees can interact, enjoy food and beverages, and take some time away from their desks. When having a party, it’s best practice to make sure employees know attendance is not mandatory. Parties should be all-inclusive, and anyone is welcome, but attendance is not required.

Fun ideas for your Halloween gathering include a pumpkin decorating contest, potluck, fall-themed food/beverages (i.e., cider—nonalcoholic, of course—pumpkin pie, etc.), mummy wrapping contest, and board games.

Additional Ways to Celebrate

If Halloween is controversial in your workplace, or you’re looking to avoid any mishaps, there are some alternative ideas. You could consider a donation to a local food bank, harvest potluck (without Halloween costumes and decorations), or host a trunk-or-treat/office trick-or-treat for employees to bring their children for a safe, festive trick-or-treating experience. 

Holidays in the workplace can be enjoyable and beneficial for team building. On the other hand, they can become an opportunity for handbook violations and safety concerns. If you’re looking to create a policy around holiday celebrations, VensureHR can help. Our HR professionals will guide you in creating a policy that works best for your business while providing fun for your employees. Schedule a call with us to learn more.


LinkedIn- 15 Ideas to Celebrate Halloween in the Workplace

SHRM- Workplace Halloween Celebrations Can Lead to Scary Situations

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