It’s quickly approaching that time of year when we start to get questions coming in about Halloween office parties, appropriate costume choices, and how to inject a little fun and joviality into the workplace without letting things get out of hand.
Here in the UK at least, the celebrations around 31st October are a relatively new phenomenon. We used to make do with bobbing for apples and perhaps a poorly made costume crafted out of a discarded bed sheet. Today though, it’s big business. And
whether you think of it as a trick to force us to part with our hard-earned cash, or a little treat to lessen the blow of the darker nights and colder days, there are certain things that you need to consider as an employer.
First of all, don’t blow things out of proportion. If you’re the boss, then you probably shouldn’t be spending your time worrying about who’s going to bring the sausage rolls to the lunchtime party, or whether you’ve got the right equipment to organise a pumpkin carving competition. By all means, it’s fine to allow your staff to enjoy some lighthearted fun, but delegate the smaller details so you can focus on more strategic matters.
Still though, it’s sensible to think about the stance you’ll take if things take a sour turn. Your staff are adults, and they should be well aware that offensive costumes aren’t appropriate. Tackle issues head-on – just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean that you should let standards slide, and you definitely shouldn’t dismiss inappropriate behaviour as ‘just a bit of fun’.
Use your common sense, and enter into the spirit of the season if you wish to do so. And once things are done and dusted, remember that it’s only a few months until you face a whole new set of challenges in the shape of Christmas!!
Stay tuned for more advice on the issues surrounding the festive season and your responsibilities as an employer!
Many business owners, particularly those with teams which have expanded over the last 12 months, do feel anxious as the festive season approaches - keen to enjoy the fun that comes as part of Christmas and New Year, without things getting out of hand.
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