Happy Halloween! How to Celebrate the Holiday in the Office
Ah—it's that time of year again—that time where adults get to play dress up and be anything they want for one day! Bringing the office together a few times a year to celebrate the holidays is always a nice way to raise spirits and have some fun as a group.
If you are planning on celebrating Halloween at work this year, it's important to set up some guidelines so that your employees can enjoy the celebration without committing an office faux pas.
First and foremost, you should provide your workforce with costume guidelines. Some of these might seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised by what some people have dared to wear to work! Consider writing a costume policy and distribute it to your employees; typical guidelines can include:
• Do not wear costumes that are sexually revealing
• Avoid costumes with racist undertones (i.e. caricatures of another ethnic group)
• Avoid costumes with religious themes
• Definitely avoid costumes with political themes
• Avoid violent themes: Don't bring fake weapons into work
Encourage costume creativity to get your employees excited about the holiday. Consider hosting a costume parade around the office, or a contest with categories including best costume, funniest costume, most sophisticated costume, scariest costume, etc.
After you establish some guidelines for the holiday festivities, then comes the fun part: enjoying the festivities with colleagues! The holidays always bring people together—and it can sometimes be difficult in an office setting because generally, we're there to work. This Halloween, provide your workforce with some ways to bring colleagues together through fun team-building exercises.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Encourage your employees to decorate their desks and offer prizes for the most festively decorated work area. Boost team building aspects of this competition by having employees form teams and work together to decorate their shared work area. It's important to be mindful of how you'll need to use your office that day: if you are expecting a client visit, terminating an employee, or anything that requires the utmost professionalism, it might not be a good idea to do that with fake spider webs hanging off of the walls.
In keeping with the competition theme, why not have a pumpkin carving contest!? Gather the group together in the conference room or outside and pick a simple theme to see who has the best skills.
Holiday parties and workplace celebrations are the perfect chance for team building. In an office where employees otherwise may not work in teams, it's important to encourage them to work together and foster bonding among employees who may not get the chance to interact very often.
As for alcohol, depending on your company's culture, you may want to limit or exclude alcohol from the celebration. If you do choose to serve alcohol, limit the amount and ensure alternate transportation is available to your employees just in case.
If costumes and decorations aren't appealing to your workforce, why don't you host a breakfast or a luncheon? Some apple cider and pumpkin or apple muffins or breads will make it feel more festive, and bringing everyone together to enjoy a meal will give a sense of camaraderie.
When the holidays are near, employees tend to get a little distracted from time to time. Hosting a group activity is a nice way to have a little fun and then get back to work once it's over. (And let's be honest—a little R&R can always lend itself to improved employee satisfaction and company morale!).
How are you celebrating Halloween in the office this year?
HRi wishes you all a Happy Halloween!