cubicle decorated for halloween with pumpkins and spiderwebs

11 Tips for Celebrating Halloween at Work

Halloween isn’t just for kids to dress up, ask strangers for candy, and have all the fun. You can have fun celebrating Halloween, too (yes, even at work).

The Rules

Celebrating Halloween at work isn’t like celebrating it with your friends. You don’t want to offend any of your coworkers or embarrass yourself. Remember, you still have to work with these people on November 1.

Take a look at these 5 rules for celebrating Halloween at work:

1. Ask What the Company Does

Do you remember that episode from The Office where Pam is working in New York and dresses up for Halloween, only to find out no one else in the New York office celebrates? Don’t be like Pam.

If you’re new to the company, ask if and how everyone celebrates. If no one else dresses up, and you’re not going to be embarrassed by dressing up, then have at it! Who knows – you might end up starting a new tradition.

But, if no one else dresses up, and you’d feel embarrassed and uncomfortable dressing up, then skip it. You can always bust out the costume when you get home.

2. Don’t Offend Anyone

Just because you’re wearing a costume at work, doesn’t mean you can ignore the dress code. Save your riskier costumes for going out with your friends.

Not sure if your costume is too risky for work? Ask yourself how you’d feel if you were called into a surprise meeting with your biggest client while wearing it. If you’d feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, choose something else.

You also don’t want to choose a costume that would offend anyone – so, stay away from anything political or stereotypical. It’s better to be safe than to get called into HR.

3. Don’t Tease Anyone

Even if almost everyone dresses up, don’t tease anyone that chooses not to dress up. Halloween isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

4. Make Sure You Can Still Do Your Job

When you’re choosing your costume, make sure it won’t get in the way of doing what you’re paid to do.

If you spend all day talking to customers, stay away from face masks or anything that could make it hard to hear. If you spend all day typing, don’t choose a costume that covers your hands. If you have to pick up or carry things, make sure you won’t be tripping all over your costume.

5. Remember, Allergies Don’t Go Away on Halloween

If you plan on keeping a bowl of candy at your desk, then make sure it’s obvious what each piece of candy is. That way, no one has to worry about accidentally grabbing something they’re allergic to.

If you want to be extra careful, ask your coworkers if they’re allergic to anything. If you find out that Steve in accounting is incredibly allergic to peanuts, then skip the Peanut M&Ms, just to be safe.

The Fun Stuff

Now that we’ve taken care of the rules, it’s time to have a little fun at work.

6. Organize Themed Costumes

You work for a small business, so wouldn’t it be fun if everyone dressed up in a themed costume? You could all dress up as members of a band or like your favorite cartoon characters.

7. Host a Halloween Lunch

Who doesn’t like having a fun lunch at work? You can choose to make everything yourself or organize a potluck. There are tons of fun ideas for Halloween-themed food (hello, Pinterest!), so have fun with it.

8. Host a Pumpkin Carving Contest

Pumpkin carving contests are fun for everyone, even people who don’t like costumes. If you offer to host a pumpkin carving contest, set some ground rules:

  • Are people going to work alone or in teams?
  • Is there going to be a time limit? (That way you don’t have one person who carves the company logo and someone else who only has time to carve out a smiley face.)

You can also choose whether you’re going to offer a small prize (maybe just an extra piece of candy), or if you’re just going to play for bragging rights.

If your boss thinks that the contest will be too messy, offer to pick up some of fake carve-able pumpkins (none of the guts, all of the glory).

9. Decorate Your Cubicle or Office

You can choose to decorate your cubicle or office by adding some fake cobwebs or some little pumpkins.

10. Ask if You Can Close Shop Early

If you know that your company will be slow anyway, ask the boss if you can close early. It doesn’t have to be too early – just an hour or two so everyone can go home and help their kids get ready for trick-or-treating.

11. Play Halloween Music

If your office or store has music playing all day, then put on some Halloween playlists. If you listen to music through your headphones all day, then put on your favorite Halloween songs to get in the spirit.