5 Dos and Don'ts for Celebrating Halloween in the Office

US News

Saving on Halloween

Now watching

Next video starts in : 7 Play

Saving on Halloween

Saving on Halloween
Replay video
Up next

How To Dress Well - How To Dress Well LIVE Concert

How To Dress Well LIVE Concert Up next

How To Dress Well - How To Dress Well LIVE Concert

Halloween is right around the corner, and you might be gearing up to dress in costume at work, take advantage of some fun festivities, or perhaps even ask your boss to leave early to take your kids out trick-or-treating. Whatever the scariest day of the year has in store for you during the workday, here are five things you can do to enjoy your day at work, along with five things you should avoid:

Top 5 Dos:

1. Dress up. If donning a Halloween costume is encouraged, show team spirit and get into character. Complement your personality, while also respecting the company's culture and human resources policies. Stumped as to what to wear? Consider a classic. According to Glassdoor's Halloween survey, two out of five employees (42 percent) said they would likely dress as a ghost, witch, or pirate, while 20 percent would dress like their favorite movie character, such as Katniss from The Hunger Games, to work. The remaining results indicated office-themed costumes (e.g., pink slip, the boss, a three-hole punch); and pop-culture-premised costumes (e.g., a pregnant Snooki), as go-to choices.

2. Remove your boss's mask. Do you lead a team, or an entire department? If so, nearly one in three (29 percent) of your employees will want you to participate in dressing up, according to Glassdoor's survey. Instead of sitting stoically in your office as the pirates walk the plank, the ghosts get spooky, and the witches cast their spells, replace your boss's mask with something a little more whimsical; enjoy the day by playing along with the team. You might just earn a few points for being down-to-earth and showing humility with this behavior.

3. Get cookin.' While theatrical attire sounds whimsical and fun, food actually trumped costumes among what employees want most at work this Halloween. According to the survey, 70 percent of employees said they would most enjoy a Halloween breakfast/lunch or free candy/treats at work. Whether you're a front-line receptionist or someone steeped in analysis in a secluded back office, you may consider fetching a bag of Snickers bars or baking a couple dozen spider cupcakes to share with your co-workers. Or, for the ambitious, rally your teammates and cook up a Halloween breakfast or lunch event to shed a culinary bright light on an otherwise typical or bland workday.

4. Ask early. If you hope to exit early on Halloween to take your little ones trick-or-treating, ask permission ahead of time. Offer your boss the courtesy of advance notice that you would like to be home before dark so that you can attend to the holiday ritual. Offer to arrive early or stay late that day or a different day to make it a win-win request.

5. Enjoy the day. Even if your Halloween work schedule is slammed with deadlines and customer commitments, take five minutes to share in some candy corn and conversation that revolves around the spirit of the day. While your job is your No. 1 priority, it's also OK to enjoy the holiday. You might even discover the added fun is the energy boost you needed to get through that tough project.

Top 5 Don'ts:

1. Dress inappropriately. A sexy pirate wench may sound like the costume du jour; however, the next day, you may find yourself regretting the low-cut blouse and short-short skirt that left you feeling exposed and made your colleagues blush. As well, if you are uncertain of your company's costume parameters, check with human resources. They may have guidelines to help tame your creative side to fit within the proper confines of a business climate. Glassdoor's survey shows that most (51 percent) employees say that if a co-worker wears an inappropriate Halloween costume to work, the best thing HR can do is to ask them to change. So remember, fun but appropriate.

2. Assume. It's a slippery slope assuming you will be checking out early to take the kiddos trick-or-treating, leaving your childless colleagues to hold the fort. As mentioned above, you should ask your boss's permission in advance. In addition, consider extending courtesies and added communications to your kid-free teammates early in the week to ensure they don't feel that they're left holding the work bag while you gallivant into the holiday evening.

3. Bring games to work. According to Glassdoor's survey, only 6 percent of employees would enjoy bobbing for apples or other games. Since most employees just aren't into this, forget it. Remember, food trumps Halloween-themed games when it comes to celebrating at work.

4. Ditch your work. While it's easy to get swept up in the festivities of the holiday, remember that you're being paid to be there and don't shirk your duties. Customer expecting a deliverable? Get it done. Client calling with an urgent inquiry? Answering the phone with a mouthful of candy and a casual attitude may offend. Have fun, but maintain your professional decorum.

5. Be a Scrooge. While we often associate Scrooge with winter holidays, you could also be pegged one this Halloween if you walk around with a resentful attitude and a bah-humbug spirit while your colleagues whoop it up. Though it isn't necessary to be someone you're not, it is probably in your best interest to join in some of the festivities versus taking an aloof or dismissive approach to lighthearted holiday fun. Who knows? You may even enjoy yourself.

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Glassdoor career and workplace expert, chief career writer and partner with CareerTrend, and is one of only 28 Master Resume Writers (MRW) globally. Jacqui and her husband, "Sailor Rob," host a lively careers-focused blog at http://careertrend.net/blog. Jacqui is a power Twitter user (@ValueIntoWords), listed on several "Best People to Follow" lists for job seekers.

More From US News & World Report


View Comments (20)

Recommended for You

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau. Stephen Hung's $20 million purchase surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought by Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel in…

    Associated Press
  • Our Best-Ever Value Plan for Your Business

    New prices on our Mobile Share Value Plans on the nation's most reliable 4G LTE network.

    AdChoicesAT&T® Small BusinessSponsored
  • Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia

    Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia MOSCOW (AP) — The arrest of a Russian telecoms and oil tycoon has sent shock waves through the country's business community, with some fearing a return to the dark days of a decade ago, when the Kremlin asserted its power by imprisoning the country's…

    Associated Press
  • Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks

    Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks While investors gear up for Alibaba Group 's (BABA) hotly anticipated initial public offering, don't forget about other Chinese stocks that are worth keeping an eye on. Today's Young Guns Screen of

    Investor's Business Daily
  • As Fed takes baby steps, Cramer's trick for profit

    In turn, Cramer says making money in the market, involves looking at the environment through the lens of the Fed. "The trick is to remember that they speak for the common person," Cramer said. "The Fed wants the common person to make money." With that backdrop always in mind, Cramer says it becomes…

  • Costco Stores in Canada to Stop Taking American Express

    “The credit card relationship between American Express and Costco Wholesale Canada will not be renewed when it expires” on Dec. 31, the company said today in an e-mail to Canadian customers. The message was attributed to Lorelle Gilpin, vice president of marketing and membership for Costco…

  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savingsBy the time she hit her late 40s, Toni Eugenia wasn’t sure she would ever be able to retire. Eugenia, 56, a pharmacy technician who lived in Houston, was nearly $200,000 in debt and

    Yahoo Finance
  • CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

    CNBC Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday. Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy. Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein…

    Business Insider
  • Enjoy this refreshing Triple Play offer!

    Get FIOS TV Mundo starting at $79.99/mo. w/ no annual contract + 2-yr. price guarantee. Or sign for 2 yrs. & get a $300 prepaid Visa. Click here.

    AdChoicesVerizon FiOS ®Sponsored
  • Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court

    Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the…

    Associated Press
  • Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 : report

    The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the Internet news website said. Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment. The iPad is…

  • Play

    Citi, Bank of America Offer Discounted Mortgages

    Citigroup and Bank of America will offer mortgages at discounted interest rates to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime credit. AnnaMaria Andriotis joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty.

    WSJ Live
  • Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks

    Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares are backsliding Wednesday on news that the patient drop-out rate for hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is quadruple that of clinical trials. In addition, the biotech's Phase 2 study results

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Play

    What the Fed Meeting Means for Bonds

    Janet Yellen & Co. are expected to hint at their timetable for raising interest rates. Here's how investors should prepare ahead of the meeting.

    WSJ Live
  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask…

    Associated Press
  • Start a Family Tradition of Savings with USAA

    USAA auto insurance rates beat the competition 4 out of 5 times. When you switch to USAA you can save an average of $426 a year. Get a quote today.

  • Embraer to sell 50 E-175 jets to Republic in $2.1 billion deal

    Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's third largest commercial planemaker, said on Wednesday it booked a firm order from U.S. The deal, which will be included in Embraer's order book for the third quarter, is valued at $2.1 billion, the planemaker said in a securities filing. The planes will be operated…

  • Here's What Mark Cuban Wishes He Knew About Money In His 20s

    Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is generous with his advice. When we asked him what he wishes he'd known about money in his 20s, he said:

    Business Insider
  • SHOE COMPANY: Our CEO Just Disappeared And Most Of The Money Is Gone

    "and like that: he's gone." This is an actual headline from a company press release: "CEO and COO disappeared, most of the company's cash missing." (Via FastFT) In a statement, German-based shoe company Ultrasonic said its CFO,  Chi Kwong Clifford Chan, has been unable to reach the company's CEO,…

    Business Insider
  • Billionaire Investor Says Chinese People Work Harder And Western Companies Could Face Deep Trouble After Alibaba IPO

    Michael Moritz, the chairman of VC firm Sequoia Capital, is a huge fan of Chinese internet companies and reiterated his enthusiasm for the Chinese market in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. The billionaire investor described the Alibaba IPO as a “major landmark event” that is as…

    Business Insider
  • Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More

    Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More Stocks were firm on Wednesday morning ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome. Tuesday’s rally may have sparked higher interest again, and investors are looking for bargains

    24/7 Wall St.
  • 6 Things Debt Collectors Wish You Knew

    The work debt collectors do is not popular, and has become increasingly derided by those who don’t like what we do or simply don’t know the facts about debt collection. Too often, debt collection is painted with a broad brush to create a portrait that isn’t accurate, and doesn’t properly educate…

  • Life Insurance Doesn't Have To Be Complicated

    We'll help you understand the basics. Create your personalized estimate with USAA Life Insurance Company. Life brings obstacles, We bring advice.

  • Boeing may have outfoxed Musk, but it could have bigger problems

    Elon Musk is arguably one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds of the 21st Century, but he was outsized an old school aerospace giant. Boeing won the bulk of NASA’s contract for a space taxi.  One of the other companies vying for the deal is SpaceX, the company headed by Tesla’s Musk, will get a…

    Talking Numbers