Avoid a "Sticky" Workplace Situation this Halloween

Oct 26, 2020

A few short and sweet (pun intended!) Halloween reminders to keep the workday’s festivities fun and enjoyable – and to keep you out of “sticky” situations!

When Halloween falls on a Saturday, people may choose to dress up the Friday before. If you have workers in an office, this first part applies to you! Further down, I’ll address Halloween as it relates to remote workers.

  1. Costume Etiquette: If your office allows workers to dress up, send a friendly reminder a few days before that if employees choose to dress up, they need to avoid political, religious, or otherwise potentially offensive or revealing costumes. Encourage them to ask if they are unsure if their costume may fall into one of these categories. Make them aware that they will be asked to go home (and possibly disciplined, depending on your policy – since they are being told in advance!) and change if their costume is deemed inappropriate. I’ll give you an example - While seemingly harmless, dressing up as an elderly person could be offensive to older staff or younger staff if they have older relatives with whom they are close… keep this type of thing in mind to keep the day light and fun!

  2. Face masks still required! Keep the enjoyment of the day while still remembering - SAFETY FIRST! You may get the question if an employee can wear a Halloween mask in place of a face shield. To keep things from getting “sticky” I would recommend telling employees that Halloween face masks are not allowed, and that regular face masks are still required. This avoids you being in a situation where you are unsure if a Halloween mask will prevent spreading germs.

  3. Office Treats: Considering offering a fun workplace snack on Halloween – such as a Crave Box. Offering a choice of options is a great idea too – such as offering individually wrapped candy and a variety of bagged snacks, including healthy option. Doing little things to say thank you is important always – but especially as we continue to forge this new path through COVID.

If you have a remote work team, here are a couple quick and easy ways to tell them you have not forgotten them!

  1. Remote Costume Contest: Consider offering a remote team costume challenge. If you have a combination of in-office and remote workers, offer remote workers to send a picture of them in costume or ask them to vote for the best costume. Make it clear it is 100% optional. Let them send pics of themselves in a costume, their family in costume, or if you want to get silly, ask them to send in pictures of their pet’s costume! Same rules apply as in-office costume challenges. Have fun with it!

  2. Remote treat in mail: Send remote workers a little something in the mail: Consider sending an email today or tomorrow telling them you appreciate them and asking if they prefer a pumpkin carving kit, Halloween treat box, or Starbucks gift card, for example. Who doesn’t love options instead of being stuck in a “one size fits all” mold? Business should always make efforts to make remote workers feel included – not just during COVID, but always.

Many people enjoy celebrating Halloween, so consider making an effort to be festive. At the same time, take measures to ensure that no one feels pressured to participate nor feels left out.

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