Halloween at Work – Dos and Don’ts

Apart from being one of the most popular holidays of the year, Halloween also represents a great opportunity for your employees to have some fun at their workplace. Moreover, celebrating Halloween in the office is a great occasion to improve the team spirit and encourage a positive morale among your staff members. However, there are certain challenges and pitfalls that should be avoided. Here are some of them:

Costumes or no costumes?

If you are an employee that recently started working for a company and this is your first Halloween in your current work role, then make sure to check with your colleagues about the history and tradition of wearing costumes at work. If it’s not the company tradition or your colleagues simply do not feel like wearing a costume, then you probably don’t want to be the only person in the office dressed up as a witch or a goblin when everyone else is wearing a button-up shirt or a tie.

On the other hand, if wearing costumes in the office has been a tradition in your company, make sure you wear an appropriate costume that wouldn’t make anyone else feel embarrassed, offended or discriminated. Avoid sexually oriented costumes, of any kind. Although it’s a holiday, your co-workers should not be able to see parts of your body that they wouldn’t normally see. Keep it G-rated.

Wearing a costume that offends anyone’s national, racial or religious rights is a big No-No. Not only could you be perceived as a person with a bad or inappropriate taste but you could also get your employers in an inappropriate situation in case someone files a complaint. Stay away from costume themes that make fun of people with mental illnesses or have anything to do with race, religion and nationality.

Do not make fun of those who decide not to wear a costume. If someone chose not to wear it, then it’s obvious that they didn’t want that from some reason. Perhaps they just don’t feel comfortable in costumes. Whatever the reason may be, avoid making fun of such colleagues unless you want to ruin your team relations and spirit.

Alcohol or no alcohol?

In some cases, companies allow alcohol consumption during certain holidays, Halloween being one of them. If that’s the case in your company, then take some precautionary measures to avoid any issues.

If you are an employee, take it easy with alcohol. You don’t need to make a fool of yourself by falling around the office or puking in the office toilet for the whole evening thus ruining your reputation or opportunity for promotion in the future. The presence of alcohol may also lead to some inappropriate comments that could be perceived by your colleagues as a sexual harassment or some other type of discrimination.

If you are an employer, make sure to restrict the consumption of alcohol to a moderate use during your office Halloween party. If your employee gets drunk and falls down the stairs, you may get into some trouble. Keep in mind that your employees may need to drive to their homes after the office party, so too much alcohol may lead to some serious consequences. A friendly reminder to everyone about moderate alcohol consumption during the party or simply serving drinks with less alcohol may go long in such cases.

Safety comes first

If you are throwing a Halloween pumpkin carving event, then make sure that safety is being taken seriously. With all the knives and sharp objects, you definitely shouldn’t mix such an event with alcohol, especially if your employees plan to bring kids to the party. There are certain things that simply do not mix. So, in case of a pumpkin carving event, make sure that kids always have an adult supervision, and that alcohol is definitely not being consumed.

Your office Halloween party can be a wonderful event if some pre-cautions are done. Do not let it turn into a nightmare in any way. It’s a wonderful reason to celebrate and be slightly extravagant. Have fun!

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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