Halloween has a very foggy history when it comes to people’s understanding of what the occasion is about. Still, it’s a humongous commercial tradition in terms of a holiday that makes it unmissable for organizations. Halloween at the workplace is all about not being oriented towards any culture; hence it leaves very few people offended. Hence it’s a good opportunity to spice up the engagement levels.
… or not.
Halloween at the workplace has been reported to bring it over the edge. Meanwhile, the spooks festival always brings an opportunity for engagement, bonding, and team building—it’s all fun and games till it goes out of hand with the Halloween vibes. The lewd getups, gothic makeup, edgy and offensive icebreakers always make things worse.
Amidst all that chaos and the feeling of uncertainty in the HR’s mind about what can go wrong, how does an organization draw the line between spooky and risky while hosting the office Halloween party?
The Impact of Celebrating Halloween at the Workplace
The modern workplace coalesces the work-life with personal life, and here are some fronts on which an occasion like Halloween can strike an impact.
Personal Affiliations: We work in a global environment wherein unity in diversity is our greatest asset. An occasion like Halloween has lots of abstainers because of its relation to the Satanic vibe. This makes a powerful case for people who don’t want to participate in any Halloween-related event and treat it as just another workday with candies and festive vibes.
Employee Engagement: The primary reason for celebrating any occasion is to get people’s morale up and to run. A day like Halloween is a perfect spirit lifter, and irrespective of whether people dress up or not, they can enjoy the Halloween buzz at a platform like Xoxoday Empuls!
Empuls is the perfect people engagement platform to keep your workforce connected with what’s going on. Be it sending out appreciations, sharing snapshots of the best Halloween costumes on the floor, or trick-or-treat surprises, Empuls puts the glitter on every occasion.
Field of Work: Every organization has its kind of work. The workforce and work field, the people they interact with, and their job descriptions might/mightn’t permit them to go all dressed up for Halloween. For instance, the festive spirit shouldn’t blow a deal off just because the sales guy wore a blonde wig with a black suit and red tie in front of the client and left the whole meeting room red-faced.
Personal Lives: These occasions are meant to be for the kids and peoples’ families to revel, rather than a costume freak show that’s unfit for the squeamish. Including kids, for trick-or-treat, celebrations light up the place, and wherever the kids go, things get broken, and smiles get taped to people’s faces.
Code of Conduct: Too much skin-show or too much flesh-show makes for a bad occurrence, and if these occasions are to be celebrated, a code of conduct must be set to make it happen.
Keeping that in mind, here are some fun ways to celebrate Halloween in the workplace. Don’t worry; it’ll be full of spooks and low on risks.
5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Work
Keeping all the worries aside, let’s not forget what Halloween stands for—an occasion to revel and have fun! Here are a few simple things that can be done at work to make Halloween a fun-filled day. Let's look at some amazing and safe workplace Halloween ideas.
1. Color it Spooky with the Décor
Yellow lights, ghost silhouette, pumpkin stencils, and maybe some skulls—set the Halloween vibe with decorations of spiderwebs and whatnot. It isn’t very pleasant to let this opportunity go without decorating the workplace blood red, yellow, and green.
Don’t forget to get gifts! Gift vouchers are the hottest commodity on the gift market right now and a perfect present for your workforce. Wondering how to arrange it? Look no further!
Xoxoday Plum is the perfect solution for gifts, perks, rewards, and experiences for your workforce. The best part? They can choose their own gifts, or you can choose it for them.
Give your workforce one day in the whole year to wing it. They can wear whatever they want if it isn’t lewd, toxic, or edgy (there’s a list of rules down below too). Here’s a very crisp guide from Refinery29 to walk your workforce through what’s offensive and what isn’t when it comes to Halloween parties at work.
3. What’s a Party without a Potluck?
Potlucks set the mood for the whole day, and on occasion like Halloween, there couldn’t be enough pumpkin pie, ‘death by chocolate’ cake, hot mocha, and maybe some cornbread. Please have a look at our best thanksgiving recipes and whip something up for Halloween at work.
4. Bring in the Little Ones for Pumpkin Carving
Pumpkin carving sets up the mood for an occasion like Halloween, and this day-ender activity would be perfect if people could bring their kids around! The best pumpkin carvers can be rewarded with vouchers, experiences, and perks, and of course, the kids can get the treats—irrespective of the victory or a loss. The best way to end the Halloween workday is to turn it into a family adventure!
5. Candy—Lots of Candy!
The best engagement happens when people get talking and what can be a better reason for a person to loiter into that corner of the office where they’ve never been? Trick or Treating! Get every employee a trick or treat bag and watch them go round and round the block. The team with the most candies collectively wins a gift hamper.
Look for such Halloween office party games beforehand. You can also ask your teammates to suggest some fun Halloween office party game ideas to make the party even better.
Now that the office Halloween party's impact can be seen through and through, there must be some implicit rules set up to keep this occasion full of engagement and low on, well, awkwardness. Here are some ground rules to be set to make this Halloween low on tricks and high on treats.
Ground Rules to a Risk-free Halloween at Work
Sure, engagement is the top priority, but an organization with the coolest of culture needs to set some benchmarks when an occasion involving dress up at work for Halloween games comes by. Here are some hassle-free ground rules that can be conveyed by the organization to the workforce and make Halloween a breezy, fun-filled day.
1. Decide the theme beforehand
The best part of Halloween at the workplace is that every team has its USP, which can be used in their getup. Meanwhile, Sales Squad can dress up as Wolves of Wall Street. The tech-team can hit the ground running with The Avengers spirit. Of course, it can be laissez-faire, and everyone can dress as individuals, but a theme makes for great pictures and increased team bonding.
2. Steer clear of NSFW
The Halloween spirit has a certain level of gore, edginess, and awkwardness attached to it in the minds of the HR. What if someone dresses up in a wildly graphic outfit? Or one with too much of a skin show? Either way, the NSFW (Not Safe for Work) code of conduct should always be followed without a shadow of a doubt to keep the squeamish safe and maintain the sanctity of the workplace.
3. Dash the other way from ethnic tropes
42% of employees have witnessed, experienced, or felt the effects of racism at the workplace (Glassdoor), and it is a grave occurrence. Any grey area shouldn’t be tolerated; hence the management should advise staying away from any ethnic tropes to ensure that there are no instances of discrimination or hurtful sentiments going around.
4. Keep the participation voluntary
As mentioned above, not everyone wishes to indulge on every occasion, and the sentiments of people shouldn’t be pushed over to participate in an occasion like Halloween. Leave it to the people and their own choices, and everything shall go just right.
Ready to have a Halloween Party at Work?
The frills are out, and pumpkin stencils are hung, candies are on the table, then what’s the wait! Kick off the spook-fest at work, and with all the things in mind, keep Halloween full of spooks and without any mischief. Happy Halloween!
At Xoxoday, we deeply understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and engagement drivers of people, be it an employee, supplier, contract staff, gig or consumer. We bring simplicity and continuity to a complex, everyday problem.