Halloween is just around the corner, and it is a day of fun and excitement for both children and adults. Here are some tips for keeping Halloween both festive and professional in the office.
Be Respectful of Your Coworkers and Customers
If your company allows costumes on Halloween, choose one that adheres to standards of modesty and decency. Store-bought costumes that resemble lingerie are not workplace appropriate. Neither is any costume or decoration that causes others to feel uncomfortable or offended in any way. If someone asks you to stop wearing a part of your costume or to take down decorations, be prepared to do so. Remember that your enjoyment must not come at someone else’s expense.
Conversely, if you are naturally squeamish, be prepared for some fake blood and spooky decorations. If others respect your personal workspace and you are able to function, try to let them have their fun.
Good-natured pranking may be part of Halloween festivities, but always be considerate of others. Placing a fake tarantula in the cubicle of a colleague with a known phobia of spiders is both cruel and completely unacceptable.
As discussed in our post on office holiday parties, always remember to show respect for people of other cultures and religions as you celebrate Halloween.
Halloween as Morale Builder
This festive occasion can be great opportunity to build company or departmental morale. Consider holding Halloween-related contests to encourage friendly competition among staff members. Offer prizes for the best costumes and the best-decorated cubes/offices. If you are having a Halloween potluck, request that people bringing homemade foods have ingredient information available for persons with allergies and food sensitivities.
Senior executives, managers and supervisors are strongly recommended to participate in costume activities, as they provide a wonderful opportunity to set aside the formal face of authority and build true connections with the members of your teams.
Last Minute Ideas for Silicon Valley Workers
If you don’t have the time or inclination to obtain a traditional costume, we suggest three simple alternatives.
- Local Sports Fan (San Francisco Giants, Stanford Cardinal, Oakland Raiders, San Jose Sharks). Begin with at least one article of clothing with the team name or logo, and combine that with other pieces in team colors.
- Underfunded Startup Founder: featuring sloppy clothes, tousled hair, and the “I just slept under my desk” look.
- Lyft Driver: Hang a pink furry mustache around your neck and complain loudly about taxi drivers.
Trick or Treat
If appropriate for the location and physical premises of your workplace, consider opening up your office as a trick-or-treat stop for employees’ children. Having families visit a loved one’s place of work, particularly on a Friday afternoon, is another opportunity to grow a feeling of community in your organization.
If your job feels more like a “trick” than a “treat,” contact the recruiters at Menlo Partners for a review of your resume and a discussion of possible opportunities. Happy Halloween!