Here in Canada, it’s one of the most breathtaking times of year. The leaves are changing colour, sweater weather is in the air, and all of our lattes are filled with pumpkin spice. And, of course, one of the most anticipated holidays on my calendar—Halloween!
From my Halloween-obsessed heart to yours, let’s talk how to throw the most epic #HRApproved office Halloween party—from how to set the tone so things stay office-friendly (and fun) to some great activities for your whole staff.
Set The Tone 👻
First, think about the type of event you want to throw. Will it happen during work hours or after-hours? Outside of work hours is especially good for Halloween (daylight isn’t as spooky), but this depends on the type of office you work in. You know best whether your employees are willing to give up a few hours of their time outside of work to celebrate with their colleagues or if a lunchtime celebration would work better.
It’s also important to remember that not everyone loves Halloween, so decide before sending out invitations if participation is mandatory.
Initial invitations are also a great opportunity to remind your colleagues that even though you’ll be letting loose for a few hours, it’s still very much an office party, so standard office party rules will apply. Here are a few key things to consider for a holiday that’s known for mischief and disguises:
- Dress code: Since costumes are a key component of a Halloween party, decide how to address this. A good rule of thumb is to set a few ground rules, just as you would for everyday office wear.
- Drink responsibly: Alcohol may be a common addition to your office holiday parties especially after hours, and Halloween is no exception! Don’t feel like you have to shy away from providing alcohol for the party or allowing a BYOB policy. If you do, though, make sure you have a way for people to get home safely (taxi/Uber vouchers, designated drivers, or accessible public transit options).
- Harassment policies: Halloween is best known for its tricks and treats and with tricks comes the potential for inappropriate office pranks or insensitive emails. If you’re not responsible for organizing the event, you would still be a good resource for those responsible when it comes to reiterating your employee code of conduct policies beforehand, if you think this may be an issue. This is the best way to set expectations and have the best office Halloween party possible!
- Get the whole family involved: Our office is home to 3 gentlemen with 5 kids (or more!!!). If you want to make it a family affair, you can even host something the little humans can enjoy! This can be done any number of ways whether it’s a costume party with Halloween-themed activities (more on that in a second) or just opening your office after the workday is done and letting staff bring their children to trick or treat.
Discussing these important points right away will set you up for a Halloween celebration the whole office can enjoy.
Next, decide the party’s main events. We’ve compiled a few suggestions for some inspiration.
Host a Carve-Off! 🎃
Here at PurelyHR HQ, we took advantage of the amazing f=Fall weather and hosted a team-wide pumpkin carve-off! Breaking off into teams of 2 and with 30 minutes, we were on a mission to see who could carve out the best PurelyHR logo… and things got a little creative!
The best part? We had creative (and branded) Halloween decor for the office!
Play Halloween Inspired Games 🦇
The Balance put together this amazing list of super fun Halloween party games for adults! The best part? Most of the props needed to execute these party games are most likely already lying around, so you don’t have to break the bank.
Here are a few of our personal favourites on the list:
- The Ghost Game
- Murder in the Dark
- Halloween Feel Box
- Scavenger Hunt
Movie Night 🎥
Is there a scary movie playing on the big screen? Invite your staff to join you at the movies on your dime (there are usually group discounts for businesses or check for gift cards that include snacks for a cheaper price).
Have a big screen somewhere in the office? Even better! Set up an office screening of an old Halloween classic. Beef up your office movie night with some trivia beforehand and offer up some cool Halloween prizes!
Get a Little Scarier 🧟♀️
What’s better than a scary movie? The real thing (this probably depends on who you ask)! Is there a haunted house in your community? Haunted corn maze? Haunted anything?
Here on the east coast at this time of year, we have a Zombie Manor that uses Hollywood-level effects to scare your pants off. Look into group discounts for savings.
Or, if you’re really ambitious, turn your own office into a haunted house. Hey, a Halloween buff can dream, right?
I Think You’re Ready 💪
Alright! I think you’re ready to ROCK this year’s office Halloween party! Just remember to set the right tone with your staff and use our party ideas for inspiration.
Oh, and don’t forget to invite me! I love a good Halloween party! 😉