As we all know, Halloween arrives this weekend. Now, I love a good holiday as much as the next person, but I have to draw the line at dressing up in costume at the office. A trend I’ve noticed with increasing regularity over the years is for offices to completely lose themselves in the holidays. Halloween banners are hung up everywhere, bowls of candy corn surface on everyone’s desks, and employees trade in their professional suits and pencil skirts for silly costumes.
I for one think it’s ridiculous. It’s hard enough to get people to dress appropriately on regular days—why make it worse? Who wants to do business with an attorney dressed as a witch or a banker wearing furry bunny slippers? Frankly, as a customer I’d be turned off by the lack of professionalism. I give my business to people who exude respect, intelligence, strength and responsibility, not the person with the most creative costume or the guy who just wants to let loose.
Costumes are completely fine in a party environment, but just don’t belong in the workplace. Take a look around at most adult Halloween costumes you see these days. Many are grotesque, a few are offensive and off-color, and several—ladies, I’m talking to you—try way too hard to be sexy. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to walk into an office building and be greeted by a guy with fake blood running down his shirt, or a woman dressed as a sexy nurse.
Another consideration is that many people don’t celebrate Halloween for religious reasons. Why risk alienating an employee, or clients for that matter, just to bring some levity to the workplace?
Bottom line: Save your dressing up for trick or treating with the kids or that big Halloween party at your friend’s house—just not the office.