18 Spooktacular Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Work

Illustration of pumpkins on strings and bats flying in a forest in the background during Halloween

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Whether you’re 5 or 35, Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays of the year. When else is it acceptable to dress up, waltz into the office and stuff your face with inexcusable amounts of sweets and chocolate?

It’s also a good opportunity for coworkers to have some fun and mingle in the workplace. Celebrations of any kind are said to increase employee morale – they will feel more valued and motivated to work harder.

If you’re in charge of arranging this year’s celebrations, you can choose from the fun but tame options below.

1. Hold a desk decorating competition

Whether your team is working from home or in the office, you can host a desk decorating competition. You can give each employee a small budget to purchase decorations for their desk and gift a reward like an Amazon eGift card (paid link) for the person with the most creative desk.

2. Order some spooky deliveries

Surprise your employees by ordering some spooky deliveries. These could be tasty treats, gift vouchers or any other parcel that will get them in the holiday spirit! To bring back fond childhood memories, why not have a cauldron full of sweets?

3. Arrange a murder mystery game

Have you always wanted to host a murder mystery party? Well, now is your chance! You can split your employees into different teams and make them compete against each other. And if you’re working from a remote setting, don’t fret! There are plenty of online murder mystery games that you can participate in.

4. Make a spooky breakfast

Themed breakfasts are always exciting; whether you’re getting catering or making a team effort and creating delicious treats, this can be an excellent way for your office to spend the morning socialising. Your fried eggs can mimic a spooky eyeball, using ketchup as veins and a black olive as a pupil, and even make pancakes in the shape of a ghost.

5. Hold a pumpkin-carving contest

Pumpkin carving can be fun for those that are talented creatively; however, some colleagues will be more of a hazard when it comes to a carving contest! A good idea is to split the office into teams and have different faces in a hat that each team will draw – these could include a bat and a puking pumpkin. Have your employees work in a team to make the best version in 30 minutes and offer the winning team a prize, like a paid lunch.

6. Award the best costume

Kudos to the workers who get on public transport dressed in bizarre outfits all for their love of Halloween. To encourage employees to wear their costumes to work for the day, host a costume parade and offer prizes for the following categories: best costume, funniest costume, most sophisticated costume, costume that took the most work to make, scariest costume and most creative costume. Advertise the awards in advance to entice your coworkers. Prizes could include a Starbucks gift card, paid lunch or an afternoon off.

7. Host a horror movie marathon

What’s more of a treat than taking a few hours away from your desk to watch a movie? This doesn’t have to be compulsory, but you can set up a movie screen on a projector and decorate that area with cobwebs and ghosts and put on a Halloween classic like Hocus Pocus or The Addams Family. Ensure there is plenty of popcorn, sweets and chocolate to go around!

8. Have a potluck lunch

To get everyone into the Halloween spirit, host a potluck lunch and ask all employees to partake. If making your own dish doesn’t go down well, you can opt for pizza and finger food and encourage employees to socialise for an extra-long lunch.

9. Make festive cocktails

While you’re in the festive spirit, why not have a cocktail-making session? You can give everyone a list of ingredients and see who makes the most creative and festive cocktail. The winning team can win a prize of your choice.

10. Arrange themed games

Bobbing for apples is a tradition many of your employees will decide to skip, but for those that decide to partake, offer an enticing winning prize. It's also heaps of fun for those who are just watching. Other games include candy counting (counting how many sweets are in the jar).

11. Trick or treat

Who said that trick or treating is just for children? You can make this exciting in the office. Instead of allowing employees to think of their own tricks, give everyone a list of ‘tame’ tricks they’re allowed to dish out. Everyone must have a surprise treat station on their desk, too. It’ll get colleagues walking around and mingling throughout the day.

12. Arrange philanthropic activities

The importance of a holiday is about giving to someone that needs your help. You can arrange to go to a children’s hospital dressed in costumes offering treats, face-painting and other fun activities. You can also have employees volunteer to work at an animal shelter or a soup kitchen for the day.

13. Host a bake sale

In every office, there’s bound to be someone who bakes just as well as Mary Berry. Host a bake sale and give all the donations to chosen charities. A little really does go a long way!

14. Play themed music

You can bend the rules a little for the spooktacular holiday and have an hour or two where someone’s Halloween playlist can be played. This can be during the party hours where you host the adventurous games listed above.

15. Hold a pie-baking contest

Pumpkin pies are traditional to the Halloween season, but can your coworkers get more creative than that? Host a pie-baking contest for people that are interested, and again offer a desirable prize!

16. Rent a photo booth

A good photo booth will go down a treat. If you don’t have the budget to splurge on a professional one for the day, you can opt for a make-shift photo booth. Ensure you have lots of props, including masks, wigs and face paint, and have a designated photographer. Encourage your employees to post on social media with your company hashtag!

17. Hire an ice cream van

Although it’s October, it’s never too cold for ice cream. Have an ice cream van turn up at your workplace and let employees choose a dessert of their choice.

18. Give team members the rest of the day off

It’s safe to say that all employees would be happy to leave the office early for the day. Whether they have children that want to go trick or treating or they want to go and get ready for their own Halloween party, it will go down a storm. If everyone’s workload allows it, get them to shut down a few hours early. You’ll be surprised at how productive they will be in the morning!

Halloween celebrations at work are a popular way to mark the occasion and will encourage employee morale and motivation. According to a survey carried out by Glassdoor: ‘49% of employees also see work events as a chance to connect with employees in different departments and 43% say it helps connect people across various levels. And of course most employees (61%) also say that they appreciate the chance to take a break from work.’

Have you celebrated Halloween in the office before? If so, what did the festivities involve? Let us know in the comments section below to share your ideas and experiences!

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 9 October 2017.