The Dos and Don’ts of Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace

The Dos and Don’ts of Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace

As we say goodbye to summer and welcome in autumn’s cool breezes and pumpkin flavored lattes, we all know that it’s time to say hello to the upcoming onslaught of fall holidays to celebrate with the first holiday to greet us being none other than the spooky old favorite, Halloween. Personally, I am a big fan of celebrating holidays in the office. It gives the whole team something fun to look forward to when coming to work, plus, it acts as a team building exercise to bring everyone closer together.

But I also know that Halloween tends to be one of the more controversial holidays to celebrate in a workplace environment as it toes the fine line of what does and doesn’t pass as acceptable costume dress up. Every office celebrates holidays differently, or not at all to avoid the drama, but here are three dos and don’ts to adhere to in order to have a successful, drama-free Halloween celebration in the office.

Do: Dress up.
Not encouraging employees to dress up on Halloween is just downright wrong. Don’t be the Halloween version of the Grinch! Promote the costume component of your Halloween celebration by encouraging those who dress up that they will be able to participate in a costume contest and win a fun prize. Don’t force people to dress up if they don’t want to though – if some of your staff have doctor’s appointments or yoga class after work, they might not enjoy being forced to wear a costume to and from the workplace.

Don’t: Dress inappropriately.
As the boss, set a good example. Let everyone know ahead of time what you’re going to dress as so that they can gauge their costumes with yours or even set up a theme for the whole office like superheroes. Funny is fine, as long as it’s not too political, too revealing, or too offensive. When in doubt, use your best judgment. Ask yourself, “Would I be okay letting my kids see me in this?”

Do: Have a designated party time.
On the “send all” e-vite you send to your employees about the Halloween celebration, include a set time period in which the party will take place. Set aside an hour or so that fits into most of your team’s schedules comfortably, with enough to eat and bob for apples.

Don’t: Have small distractions throughout the day.
Ideally, your team will still manage to get some work done on Halloween, so setting aside some time to party leaves the rest of the day free to work on other things, rather than just doing nonstop celebratory activities throughout the day. It’s harder to re-focus when you have to keep leaving your desk for a round of musical chairs set to the Monster Mash that keeps going and going all day long.

Do: Have a potluck.
Potlucks are a great way to get everyone involved, and get everyone talking and munching! Everyone will want to know who brought what treat in and what the recipe is if it’s a tasty dish. Plus, it’s a great way to exercise your creativity in making a spooktacular new recipe!
Don’t: Put one person in charge of the food.

Don’t just order a caterer or have one person make a Costco run, and especially, don’t have one person cook everything! A potluck is much more fun and a whole lot easier when everyone chips in and joins the fun!

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @deborahsweeney and @mycorporation.

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