Halloween Activities for Your Office that Keep Employees Motivated

Halloween is one of those bizarre days that isn’t a national holiday, but certainly feels like it to employees across America. In general, employees are less motivated to work hard all day and would prefer to swap stories about their plans that night.

So while you will have to accept that a little less work is going to be done on Halloween, there are also plenty of ways to improve morale, focus your employees, and not completely write off the day.

1. Let your employees dress up

For one day, let your employees ditch their regular work clothes and come to work in a costume of their choice. Stress that it must be workplace appropriate and give specific guidelines so you don’t run into any problems. But letting your employees show off their Ghostbusters uniform or their Doctor Who-inspired dress for one day out of the year shows that you care about their interests.

If time or interest permits, consider taking some time out of the day for costume contest. The winner can be rewarded with a gift card to a local restaurant or an afternoon off.

volunteering at halloween

Warm fuzzies: not just for Christmas.

2. Go and volunteer

If your coworkers are going to be a little antsy, you might as well pour all that energy into some volunteering. Contact a local charity, soup kitchen, or animal shelter to see if you and some of your employees can volunteer for the day. It feels great to give back to your community and it makes for some fantastic cause marketing.

3. Plan a few Halloween-themed games and activities

Increase your office morale and offer your employees a couple of ways to express their Halloween spirit. Games and activities are a great choice because they are easy to set up and only take about 30-60 minutes to complete.

Try out one of these:

  • Office decorating contest: spookiest set-up wins
  • Guess how many candy corn pieces are in a jar
  • Buy pumpkins and let employees carve them
  • Play the mummy wrap game with toilet paper or streamers
  • One of these other fun games and activities

crazy dude in a wig

Don’t worry, you don’t have to invite this guy.

4. Throw an office party

Have a party for all of your employees at the end of the day. Consider taking the last hour out of the work day and extending the party into the night.

If tight on cash, have the party at your office. But if you happen to have a little extra money, or your employees don’t mind pitching in a couple bucks, look into having it off site. Depending on where you go, your catering, drinks, and cleanup will all be taken care of by someone who’s not you.

Try local bars, game places like Dave & Busters, or like QLP did a few years ago, rent out part of a sports and entertainment complex. Giving employees a chance to kick back and socialize with their fellow coworkers strengthens relationships and renews excitement about their jobs.

Allowing a little fun on Halloween will help focus motivation during the rest of the day. Also, your employees will appreciate having the break from their daily tasks. Having a bit of a break before delving into the last two months of the year can do wonders for end-of-the-year productivity.

Have you tried any games, activities, or celebrations like this at your office? Any that should be added to the list?


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on


  1. Jeff Porretto

    Ohhh I remember that QLP party. I had been here 2 weeks, my predecessor had just quit that day, Vern dressed as a pimp with goldfish shoes. Good times!! You’re totally right, that type of event is very camaraderie-building and can only be a good thing! There’s very few days that I remember from work that long ago, but that is sure one of them =]

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I wasn’t at QLP yet when they had that Halloween party, but from all of the stories I’ve heard, it sure feels like I was. Years later, we’re still talking about it! I call that a success.

  2. Rachel

    Great ideas, Mandy! I especially like the suggestion to use employees’ holiday energy for good by volunteering. Oh, and letting employees dress up, of course. 🙂 It’s so true that allowing for a little bit of fun in the office on Halloween can boost morale among coworkers. It’s really too bad Halloween is not a national holiday … that’d be awesome!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, Rachel! It’s pretty much impossible to squash holiday energy, so you might as well channel it to be as productive of a day as possible!

  3. Amanda

    That Halloween party looks like it was so much fun!!! =)

  4. Mikey

    Some great suggestions, here. Of course, Halloween is just one of those days where people won’t be as focused. And it’s understandable; Halloween is just a fun day. But these are some good ideas for redirecting that energy back to the work environment and help to improve productivity and team cohesion. Very good article!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Thanks, Mikey! Adding costumes, fun, volunteering, and/or candy into the work day will definitely help refocus your coworkers, get things done, but still have fun, too!

  5. Jill Tooley

    I love the idea of letting employees dress up for Halloween. If it falls on a work day, then why the hell not? But even if it doesn’t, it would still be cool to have a costume contest the Friday before. Employers could even take it one step farther and offer some sort of cool incentive to staff if they dress up…like candy, or maybe even a slightly early dismissal. 😉

    Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I get all excited around this time of year. Thanks for getting me even more in the mood, Mandy!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Having a costume contest the Friday before would be awesome! It’d put the whole company in the holiday mood and be a great way to get a little more mileage out of one’s costume. Plus, an reason for candy is a good one in my book.

      Glad to help get you pumped up for Halloween, Jill! 🙂

  6. Eric

    Holidays always seem to bring out the humor in a company (or make the lack thereof apparent). I wasn’t around for the infamous, aforementioned Halloween party here at QLP, but if it was anything like the Christmas activities, or the holiday party, I’m sure it kept everyone in a pretty darn good mood and kept morale high.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I wasn’t either, Eric, but from the stories that are told, it sure as heck sounds like it did. 🙂

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