Halloween at work: The Pink Slip and other scary costumes

Soft SkillsIt’s Halloween week, and if you plan to dress up for a party at your place of employment, the experts advise that you do it tastefully.

In other words, don’t let your antics come back to haunt you.

“Don’t show up in something skimpy that leaves little to the imagination,” warns the San Francisco Chronicle. “Likewise don’t put on anything that drips ‘blood’ or any other strange liquids.”

For the record, it’s probably not a good idea to sport a polarizing political or religious figure, either.

That’s all very good advice, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Lots of people plan to make it a good time.

I Dare You
According to glassdoor.com, 52% of employees plan to attend or participate in their company’s Halloween event, though only 11% said they are likely to wear a costume to work.

Of that 11%, two out of five (42%) said that they would likely wear a classic Halloween costume such as a ghost, witch or a pirate.

The second most popular Halloween costume to wear to work, according to the survey, is a movie character costume. (My personal favorite is Clark Kent: a half-opened button down shirt, with a Superman T-shirt showing underneath.)

Another 11% said they are likely to wear a work or office-themed costume such as a pink slip, a stapler or the old, reliable 3-hole punch.

Pretty imaginative! And Halloween is nothing without imagination.

So, if you could make your boss any character you wished, what would it be?

Halloween at work

CareerBuilder.com did a Halloween survey of 4,000 employees a few years back, and the results are still still a hoot.

When asked which characters best reflect their boss’s behavior, workers said:

  • Glenda the Good Witch, liked and respected by all – 20 percent
  • The Wolf Man, is fine one minute, howling the next – 11 percent
  •  The Invisible Man, never around – 10 percent
  •  Casper the Friendly Ghost, eager to help, but often misunderstood – 9 percent
  •  Dracula, constantly sucking the life out of you – 6 percent
  •  Wicked Witch of the West, conniving and sending others to do the dirty work – 5 percent
  •  The Mummy, slow-moving and has an ancient thought process – 4 percent
  •  Grim Reaper, constantly delivers bad news and inspires fear among workers – 3 percent
  •  Frankenstein, green with envy – 1 percent

And what did these same employees pick as the scariest part of their jobs? Why, undergoing a performance review, of course!

Should employers do it?

Traditions are important in companies just as they are in families. And, Halloween is one of the best holiday traditions to establish and to celebrate at work, suggests Susan M. Heathfield at About.com.

“Halloween has climbed right up the holiday charts and is now the second most popular holiday, second only to Christmas, so it’s popular with employees, too,” she writes.

” Celebrating Halloween at work appeals to the child in each of us and helps create a motivational, team work-oriented work culture.”

Should employees do it?

So, with so many planning to have fun, and so many different ways to do it, should you dress up for Halloween at work?

As with many things in the workplace, the answer depends on your company and the type of job you do.

Then again, do you really want your insurance broker or attorney handing you important papers to sign while dressed as Gumby or Big Bird?

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