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Halloween Party Ideas for Work

Several jack-o-lanterns as some Halloween party ideas

It used to be for children, but Halloween has come a long way in the last couple of decades, coopted by Gen X and Gen Y who refuse to give it up, trading trick-or-treating for horror-themed house parties and naughty nightclub monster mashes overflowing with pumpkin spiced beer, black devil martinis, and rotten eyeball highballs. In fact, with more and more grownups celebrating the holiday, in 2012 it hit a record $8 billion in revenue in the US – the world’s number one celebrator of Halloween. Canada isn’t far behind at number three (with Ireland edging us out – Halloween likely has its roots in Celtic culture, after all). Considering how much Halloween has mutated into an adult-orientated outing, employers would be wise to leverage its popularity in order to reinforce workplace morale, particularly among their younger employees. Below are a few office Halloween party ideas that are sure to keep everyone in high spirits.

  • Decorate with ornaments of torment

    A haunted office is a happy office. Litter the corners and corridors with cotton cobwebs, dangle rubber bats from the dropped ceiling, and hide a cutthroat’s cutout in the utility cupboard. Halloween is nothing without a ghostly atmosphere. You can even turn the activity into a friendly competition between departments: who can make their portion of the office the ghastliest? Each group will be motivated to do their best, building teamwork among immediate coworkers – skills that are sure to spill over into their regular business activities.

  • Hold a pumpkin carving contest

    Like the decorating contest, this option can be done between departments to encourage teamwork. There are thousands upon thousands of ways to carve jack-o-lanterns, and this exercise is a great way for employees to express their creativity – and for employers to notice a side of some of their workers they may not have noticed before.

  • Have a best-costume contest

    If Halloween’s rising popularity among adults indicates anything, it’s that Gen X and Gen Y love dressing up as their favourite characters, icons, and even concepts (using Bristol board to go out as one’s own Facebook profile was a popular idea a few years ago). This particular contest idea obviously makes most sense for individuals, which makes it an excellent chance for someone, perhaps even a typically quieter employee, to come out of their shell, strike up conversations and build a better rapport with their coworkers.

  • Start a petrifying potluck

    This option will definitely appeal to the employees who know their way around a kitchen. Have volunteers bring in homemade Halloween treats, like chocolate-covered cockroaches (extra points for real ones), marshmallow ghosts, and pumpkin-shaped cakes. It all promises to be devilishly decadent.

  • Play some ghoulish games

    Bobbing for apples can easily become bobbing for shrunken heads (if you do some creative carving), and who doesn’t like feeling inside buckets of peeled grapes and spaghetti noodles (blindfolded, of course) and being told they’re eyeballs and brains – then, of course, taking a crack at what items really are? A group ghost story is also sure to get a howl as each person sitting in a circle adlibs the next spine-chilling chapter.

The blood-curdling conclusion

Employers beware: Like a slasher in an ‘80s horror flick, Halloween always comes back stronger than it was before. And if you ignore it, it could hack away at your bottom line. Let your employees get their gruesome groove on. Hop on the Halloween hay wagon before it’s too late!

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