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The Do’s and Don’ts for Halloween Costumes at Work

  • Sarah Vaughan
  • Oct 17, 2017

Halloween in the workplace can be a great way to better connect with your coworkers and come together as a team. From decorating, to contests, to dressing up in costumes—this time of year is definitely a great time for office celebrations.

However, the workplace is still just that—a workplace. And when choosing your Halloween costume for that workplace, there are definitely a lot of different things to consider. We’ve compiled a list of Do’s and Don’ts that will make sure your Halloween at work is worthwhile without jeopardizing your position.

Do Ask First

Some companies don’t allow costumes in the workplace. Before you come waltzing in with the best DIY gorilla costume ever made, you want to be sure that you aren’t going to be the only one dressed up. Prevent that awkwardness (and possible negative consequences) by first asking your manager if costumes are allowed.

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Many companies encourage costumes as they can strengthen the culture and team bonding experiences.  They also make great “behind-the-scenes” social media posts (be sure you keep an eye out for ours—I’m sure we’ll be posting our costumes like last year). It can be a fresh way to market to your followers!

But every company is different, so be sure to ask first.

Don’t Force Participation

Encouraging participation is completely acceptable. But nagging and bugging your coworkers to dress up with you is not the way to get people to participate. Costume creating (and/or buying) costs money, time, and energy, and it should not be an expected thing for your employees or your co-workers. This could lead to a hostile work environment if you aren’t careful.

Do Stick to the Dress Code

Dress codes are there for a reason and if you break them (even on Halloween) you could be risking some kind of consequence. Your costume should not be provocative or even questionably provocative… Essentially, it should be appropriate for all ages. What if your boss’ children come into the office to Trick-or-Treat? Make sure your costume can pass that test.

Another thing to consider is if your costume will allow you to still get your job done. Are you going to be able to sit in on meetings if you’re dressed up as an inflatable T-Rex? What about replying to emails with Hulk hands on? Be sure that your costume is appropriate but also realistic for your job to still be done as it would be on any other work day.

Don’t Go Political

Just don’t do it. There’s nothing good that can come from a political costume in the workplace, and inevitably you will offend someone. Any costume that might strike up a debate is not the way to celebrate Halloween at work.

Do Participate in Group Ideas

Group costumes are not only an opportunity to collab with your co-workers, but are also a great way to give your costume idea a safety net. If you or someone in your group has a potentially inappropriate idea for a costume (hopefully) someone will catch it before it manifests into a bigger risk. Collabing on costume ideas is a great way to build relationships and to be sure the office is celebrating Halloween appropriately.

Here are a few of our favorite group Halloween costume ideas:

  • The Office Characters
  • Minions
  • Clue
  • Decades (1920-1990s)
  • Emojis
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors
  • Mario Characters
  • Animals
  • TY Beanie Babies
  • Ninja Turtles
  • The Wizard of Oz

And those are our five Do’s and Dont’s for your work costume this year. Halloween can be a great time within the office, but be sure to follow these tips to keep your reputation at work going strong.

Happy Halloween!

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