Tips for Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace

Tips for Celebrating Halloween in the Workplace

By Leanne Bull


Every October, workplaces across the country welcome witches, ghosts, zombies and vampires to roam the halls. Halloween is an occasion that inspires creativity – and it can encourage bonding in the office, as colleagues can come together to admire one another’s transformations or contributions of tasty themed treats.


Though Halloween is a fun celebration, it’s important to be mindful of how it should be observed in the workplace. It simply shouldn’t be treated the same way as a Halloween party with your friends. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be entertaining!


If you’re a fan of Halloween and you want to know how you should celebrate in the workplace, take a break from pumpkin-carving and give these tips a read-through.


I was working in the lab, late one night, when my eyes beheld an eerie sight


It’s hard to think about Halloween without considering the costumes. Costumes can cause laughter, provoke discussion, trigger awe and be remembered for years to come. But what they shouldn’t do – especially at work – is offend your colleagues.


So how can you know what will cross the line and what won’t? Some examples of costumes to avoid include those that are:


  • Political. While there may be high-profile elections or political developments dominating the news cycle at the time, you should probably leave politics out of the workplace.
  • Revealing. If the costume shows off more skin than what your standard dress code dictates, think about how you can adapt it so you’re covered in a work-appropriate manner.
  • Offensive or insensitive to any particular group. Any type of costume that appropriates a cultural figure, trope or stereotype shouldn’t be worn into the office. 


If you’re wondering if a costume you’re thinking about wearing will cross the line, chances are it might and it’s best to reconsider. Don’t let a lapse in judgment come back to haunt you.


You may also want to think about the practicality of wearing a costume. Will it impede your ability to do your job? If the answer is yes, perhaps you can be festive by wearing orange and black clothing instead, rather than a costume.


For my monster from his slab, began to rise, and suddenly to my surprise


Trick or treat? If you answered ‘trick’, you might be one of the many who look forward to Halloween because they love being scared. They might spend the month of October re-watching their favourite horror movies or setting up a haunted house to give the trick-or-treaters a fright on Halloween night.


It can be tempting to shift the scare tactics to the workplace, but not everybody appreciates being frightened, even momentarily. Halloween office pranks aren’t right for every colleague or every workplace. Unless you’re absolutely certain that all of your colleagues would enjoy a momentary scare, leave the pranks at home.


From my laboratory in the castle east, to the master bedroom where the vampires feast


From trick to treat – Halloween is a time for many to indulge in seasonal treats, from candy, to chocolate, to bite-sized delights. If you’re the type of person who loves baking, this is your time to shine!  


As with any culinary event in the office, be mindful of food allergies or sensitivities. And if you’re bringing treats to work, be sure to bring enough for all of your colleagues, even if there isn’t an official potluck event or treat table in the office for the occasion.


Out from his coffin, Drac's voice did ring, seems he was troubled by just one thing


Keep in mind that Halloween isn’t a holiday that is universally-celebrated. It’s possible there are some in your office who do not celebrate Halloween, for various reasons.


If you spot a colleague who might be opting out of the office party or costume contest, don’t give them a hard time about it. You’ll want to be respectful. Come November 1st, you’ll continue to be colleagues, either working on the same team or sharing office space. It’s best not to make them feel isolated or singled out.


They did the mash, they did the monster mash


Once you’ve determined how you can make your Halloween plans office-appropriate, you’ll be ready to enjoy the festivities in a way that will show respect to your colleagues. Just don’t let any workplace horrors or monstrous bosses stand in the way!


Wondering how to conduct at the office Halloween party or any office gathering? Monster has some advice to share and if you are looking for new career opportunities, check out our job section. Let us help you #FindBetter