Halloween is a yearly holiday that you can incorporate into nearly any workplace. When employees participate in Halloween activities, they can develop camaraderie with their teammates and take an enjoyable break from regular work tasks.
In this article, we share ideas for Halloween and the benefits of celebrating Halloween in the workplace.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is a holiday observed in many countries on October 31 of each year. It's a night when people dress up in costumes, kids go trick or treating around neighborhoods and the workplace may get a little more creative in celebration. In the days before Halloween, offices may decorate and get into the spirit of the holiday.
Office ideas for Halloween
Halloween is the time of year when employees can showcase their creativity and interact with coworkers they may not normally work closely with. Here are 15 office ideas for Halloween:
1. Team costumes
Whether you're a team of two or twenty, you can dress up in team costumes for Halloween. Some ideas include:
- Characters from a favorite movie
- Characters from a popular television series
- Crayons, where every person on the team is a different color
- Pantone color of the year, where every person wears the same shade of color
- Members of a popular musical act from a particular decade
- Sports team
- Deck of cards
If you're on a customer-facing team, you may choose to keep the costumes very simple so you maintain a level of professionalism during your customer interactions. Individuals on a customer service team can wear the same shirt or get into the spirit of Halloween by wearing themed socks.
Remember that unless a senior executive has said otherwise, even the Halloween costumes should adhere to the company's dress code policy.
2. Office and cubicle decorations
Decide as a group if your office is doing a theme for Halloween. Decorating a cubicle or entire office is an opportunity for everyone to get creative. Use traditional decorations like fake spider webs, a fog machine and scary caution tape. You can also decorate stationery office objects, like trash cans and filing cabinets, to incorporate all parts of the workplace into the theme.
3. Pumpkin carving contest
One of the symbols of Halloween is a large orange pumpkin. Get in the spirit by organizing an office-wide pumpkin carving contest with different awards for the most creative, scariest and most artistic pumpkin. You can carve individually or have a group pumpkin that teams work on together.
4. Costume contest and parade
A Halloween costume contest and parade will give staff members the chance to dress up and see the creativity others display in their own costumes. The parade route can take participants all around the office building and, later, everyone can vote on the best costume for several awards such as the scariest costume, best duo and most creative costume.
An office could have an overall theme like a scary movie or circus for everyone to work on together. If the office has many teams, each team can decorate their area and dress up together according to the theme. Then, during the costume parade, everyone can enjoy seeing the creativity their office mates put into their Halloween decorations.
6. Bobbing for apples
This classic fall game is perfect for an office Halloween party, and it's fun for everyone to watch. Fill a large tub with water and enough apples to cover the surface of the water, making it easier to grab when you put your head in. Participants take turns dipping their heads in the water, attempting to secure an apple with their teeth. An alternative to the tub of water is to dangle apples on a string; participants can attempt to get the apple in their mouth while it's swinging and without using their hands.
7. Volunteer opportunity
Instead of taking Halloween into the office, the office can take Halloween to others in the community by taking part in a volunteer opportunity. This is a great chance for teammates to connect while doing something good for others. For example, the office employees can get dressed up in Halloween costumes and visit a senior center, or volunteer at a pumpkin patch or corn maze. Another option is to take part in a meal delivery service for the day.
8. Bring food into the festivities
Food in the workplace can naturally bring fun and excitement into the day. Food should follow the theme and can be potluck-style where employees bring their own dish in or the office can provide food for the staff. Breakfast can include pumpkin muffins and apple cider. Lunch options can include mummies in a blanket, a cheese dip served out of a pumpkin and ghoul punch.
9. Trick or treating
Participants can bring in candy for the group and everyone takes turns walking around the office to get candy from their coworkers. In the end, each employee should have a bag of candy to snack on throughout the day. Trick or treating also provides an opportunity for employees to get to know those with who they may not normally interact during their workday.
10. Photo booth
Halloween happens just once a year, and a photo booth is a way to commemorate the day. Set up a backdrop and hire a photographer for a couple of hours so that all employees get the chance to take team photos or individual shots of themselves in their Halloween costumes.
11. Old-school party games
Halloween is an ideal day for games in the workplace, including old-school party games like pin the tail on the donkey, musical chairs and hot potato. These games will bring nostalgia to the office and can encourage employees to talk about memories they have playing the games when they were younger.
12. Murder mystery
A murder mystery is a game the whole office can play. There should be a narrator who assigns characters to all participants, then employees will ask each other questions to determine who the murderer is. It's a collaborative game that also introduces some light-hearted competition among work friends.
13. Mummy wrapping
In small teams, pick one person to wrap up like a mummy in toilet paper. A manager can be the timekeeper and watch the clock so every team gets the same time to wrap up their coworker. Then, the manager can judge who did the best with their supplies.
14. Party-planning committee
Having an official party-planning committee will help make the day more organized. Members of the committee can work on assigning teams, decorating the shared lunch space, reminding employees of the festivities and other logistical details such as paying any vendors and organizing a cleanup of the office post-Halloween.
15. Early release
Some companies may choose to end the workday early as an additional incentive for taking part in Halloween activities. If any employees have children, this will give them more time to prepare for the night's fun.
Why celebrating Halloween in the workplace is important
Halloween, or any holiday, can bring a sense of camaraderie to the workplace when office mates gather together to celebrate and have some fun. You may experience these benefits when you celebrate Halloween in the office:
Halloween in the workplace naturally brings a sense of teamwork to the office. Coworkers can brainstorm decorations and team costumes, then work together to make their cubicles ready for Halloween. During this time and after, teams will likely continue their strong teamwork in projects and other office responsibilities.
When decorating the workplace or creating Halloween games, the team is working on their collaboration skills. Depending on the activity, there may be a person who takes the leadership role, or this role can be shared among those in the group. Teammates are working toward the shared goal of having a fun and creative Halloween in the office.
Halloween introduces a bit of positive change to the workplace and allows employees to do something completely different for a portion of the day. When employees have fun at work, they are more likely to stay loyal to the business, display company values and build relationships with their coworkers.
Decorating an office and dressing up in a costume can drive creativity as you think about how to produce the best scary effect or create costumes that will elicit a laugh from coworkers. When you can be creative in the workplace on non-work-related projects, it can translate to more creativity on your regular tasks.
Knowing that there is an upcoming Halloween costume parade or a Halloween-themed lunch later in the day, you may feel motivated to be efficient in your work to ensure that you can take part without the pressure of an incomplete task. Halloween activities also provide a break in the day that, once over, can keep employees motivated to finish the day strongly.
Employees usually experience a boost in the collective morale of the office when they can take some time away from work tasks to celebrate a holiday during business hours. A Halloween celebration can uplift employees and increase the feeling of thankfulness they have for working at an organization that values teamwork and entertainment.