Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Itís Halloween time again. Since there are no federal and/or state regulations concerning office attire and holiday celebrations, offices usually set their own policies on whether or not to allow employees to dress up for Halloween or the holidays.
If you are new to the office, donít assume employees are allowed to wear costumes or decorate their cubicle. Check with management to find out the office policy on celebrating the holiday season. While some employers may not allow a Halloween celebration, they may allow a ďwelcome to FallĒ festival incorporating all the colors of the season.
If you are one of the ďluckyĒ offices that allow their employees to go all out for the day, there are some guidelines you should adhere to.
1. Remember that super-sexy costume you bought for the party? Donít even consider wearing it to the office. The basic dress codes still apply. Just because itís Halloween, do not assume you can show more skin than normal. Most companies will be especially vigilant in making sure the costume you wear for fun does not turn into a sexual harassment problem from over-zealous, ogling co-workers.
2. Scary is fun, but keep it tasteful. All of the T.V and movies are specializing in blood and gore movies to celebrate the 13 days of Halloween. It may be fun, it may be scary but outfits that portray cut off limbs, blood dripping skeletons or rolling eye balls or the latest Jason and Michael Myers really have no place in a professional setting.
3. A mask should be safe, right? A mask is fine as long as itís only worn at the appropriate time. When is the appropriate time? Breaks. Lunch time party. Most company execs would prefer not to see their employees sitting at their desks trying to work from behind masks. Itís probably not very productive and might bother office visitors.
4. Are desk decorations off limits? Imagine the creative guy in the accounting department that turned his desk and entire work area into a very realistic grave yard scene. Aside from the fact it was a creative masterpiece; it left him no room work. He is basically useless to his supervisor for the entire day. Desk decorations are fine as long as the work space remains functional.
If you bought the sexy outfit for the weekend party, consider buying a second, more appropriate costume for the office. Remember the bottom line is you are in a place of business, Halloween is not an in office vacation day. The office still needs function with the almost the same amount of professionalism as the other days of the year.