Is your office or shared workspace hosting a Halloween party? Are you ready? There should be lots of treats, prizes and probably a few tricks played by the more rambunctious in the crowd. Arguably the best part of the event is the work sanctioned mingling, and all the creative costumes. So hey, you don't want to step on any toes, hurt anyone's feelings, piss anyone off or have a serious conversation with HR or the boss that ruins the fun. After witnessing this sh*t go down for a couple of decades, here are Your Office Mom's suggestions to make sure your Halloween antics are work approved. And, if a party isn't on the work schedule, it's not too late to get busy planning one with these creative office Halloween party ideas.
1. Mind your manners
First of all, be sure to show some appreciation to your party planners. Work parties require a substantial amount of time and effort especially those with a tight budget and few volunteers. Secondly, do your part. If there's a sign-up sheet, sign up to bring in food or beverage items. It doesn't need to be elaborate. And, offer to set-up or clean-up. You can surely find 15 minutes to add to the cause, right?
Finally, before you think about complaining about anything, don't. Your co-workers had a hand in planning this little soiree. So, if you don’t have anything nice to say, remember what Mom always said, don't say anything at all, except "please" and "thank you." And, if you don't like how this little Spooky Shindig went down, maybe you can be part of the party planning process for the upcoming holiday season. The more, the merrier as they say!
2. Be respectful
Some people don’t participate in Halloween festivities so respect that. They're either no fun whatsoever; they think it’s lame, or more importantly it's counter to their spiritual or religious views. Regardless, it’s not your place to interrogate them. Just respect the fact they have a choice to participate or not, as do you. If you're decorating your cubicle or work area be mindful that they aren't. Make sure your decorations and any movement activated items (no matter how frickin' funny you think they are) don't infringe on their space.
3. Show restraint, sensitivity & common sense
Don’t wear anything too sheer, revealing or sexy. Everyone thinking you’re the biggest skank in the company (or a close tie for 2nd) isn’t worth that Amazon gift card. No shaming implied here, but THIS IS WORK, so cover up the girls with a cami. Guys, this applies to you too. Be mindful of skintight pants or that open shirt. Same goes for too much blood and gore. We don't need a re-enactment of our worst nightmare, so we feel compelled to check under the bed when we get home. You can change it up or amp it up for the after-work party. Here are some Halloween costume ideas you can wear to work.
And, for god's sake, please steer clear of any ethnic or racial themes. Unless you’re part of the race or ethnic group you're enacting, this is not the time to dress up as if you are. Regardless of your workplace demographics or how much fun it sounded when you were drunk off your ass last weekend, it shows a total lack of sensitivity. I'm amazed white people still think blackface is funny. So, read The most offensive Halloween costumes of 2017 for some insight. And do your own Google search.
Be very careful about letting any social or political statements come to life in your costume. They may be in the news, but again, this is your place of business. You don't want to alienate peers or clients. If you think it might be offensive or over the top, it probably is. Save that for the after-work party, and even then proceed with caution.
4. Pack a bag - you may need it
Make sure you can work in your costume and makeup all day. Some costumes are hot, bulky and uncomfortable. If you decide to start taking it apart during the day you need to be sure whatever is underneath is more than lacy hipsters and a thin tank top or a pair of boxer briefs. So bring a change of clothes and make-up remover. This is also a good call in case there’s a chance you might be dragged into an unexpected client meeting or a video conference. Or, if your HR Manager wants to have a serious chat it's a lot easier than being sent home. Hey, it happens. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Happy Halloween! Have fun and be safe kids!