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.

Don't Be Spooked - Get Someone Else To Deal With It

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, It’s Sensible To Think About Your Stance 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’. The perfect opportunity then to cast your eye over your HR policies and keep them up to date. For guidance check out Katy Cracknell's great article HR Policies: Everything SMEs Need To Know. 

Final Thought

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!! Over the coming months, we’ll be exploring the issues surrounding the festivities, and your responsibilities as an employer. Be sure to sign up for our updates so you get all the guidance that you need, delivered directly to your inbox. Thinking of planning a christmas 'do' for the team? Our new ebook 'The Stressed Out Business Owners Guide To Christmas Parties' is available to download now. 

Image by jojo 77

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