Canada

The dos and don'ts of Halloween at the office

Thinking of wearing that Justin Trudeau wig or cheerleader zombie costume to your office Halloween party? Better think again. A business etiquette expert weighs in on office costumes.

Think of the after-effects of wearing that costume, says business etiquette expert

There's a lot to consider before you go to work dressed in ghoulish garb. (Jere Keys / Flickr)

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be considering wearing a costume to the office. But is it really a good idea to don that Justin Trudeau wig or zombie cheerleader outfit?

Business etiquette expert Julie Blais Comeau said it all comes down to context. 

"It depends on if there is a party at work and the culture of the organization that you work for," said Blais Comeau. "So you have to weigh in all these variables." 
Dressing up as a pothole: a safe bet for the office party. (Michelle Bellefontaine/CBC News)

She said if your office is having a Halloween-themed day, you mustwear something to show you're a team player — even if you wouldn't usually dress up for the holiday.

"By not wearing a costume, you're going to be bringing attention to yourself. Wearing a costume is about coming together as a team."

But that doesn't mean you can wear any old costume. When choosing an outfit for your office's Halloween bash, Blais Comeau has a few guidelines - not too sexy, not politically incorrect, and definitely not offensive. 

"Basically, your costume should be appropriate for your seven year-old niece as much as your grandmother, who could be 77 years old," she said.  
It's probably a good idea to leave your 'sexy Gandalf' costume at home. (Tjitske Van Vark / Tumblr)

And though the lighthearted holiday might not seem like a big deal, it can have big consequences for your professional reputation.

Blais Comeau said it's important to seriously consider the repercussions of a certain costume.

"Think of the after-effects of wearing that costume. What does it say about you? Is it in line with the image of the company? Is it in line with your personal brand?"

She says dressing up for Halloween at work can be a good thing, since it helps show your fun side. 

But she cautions that employees must remember they're at a place of work. And when the fun is over, you still have to clock in and face your colleagues for another day.