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New-Normal Halloween Festivities for Work and Home

  • Published
  • 29 October 2020
  • Category
  • General

Social distancing does not necessarily mean social isolation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have found ways to help their employees stay connected without compromising their health and safety.

However, maintaining holiday traditions and celebrating special events while taking protective measures can prove trickier. There are persistent challenges associated with involving remote workers or people other than immediate household members in meaningful engagement.

Halloween on Saturday provides an example.

When planning holiday celebrations, it is important to consider community levels of COVID-19, the location and duration of gatherings, origins and destinations of attendees, and behaviors of attendees prior to meeting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With this in mind, many are opting out of in-person Halloween traditions.

Halloween in the Workplace

An organization’s culture is a valuable asset that attracts qualified candidates and encourages retention. Workplace culture is enhanced when employees can have fun together. The pandemic has created unexpected barriers that require alternative approaches to nurture togetherness, honor traditions and celebrate diversity.

Here are some safe ways to engage employees in Halloween-themed activities:

  • Costume contests: Hold a virtual team competition. Have a committee of judges or let everyone vote on the best team theme and best individual costume. Share pictures of the winners. If wearing costumes isn’t their thing, suggest that employees dress up their pets and send photos for judging.
  • Pumpkin-carving: Invite employees to carve a jack-o-lantern. Have a virtual show-and-tell session or distribute photos via your company’s internal communications platform.
  • Decorations: Some people go all-out with spooky outdoor Halloween scenes. What about decorations put up by team members in the workplace or by those working in a home office?  They may have a Halloween display to share.
  • Treats: If your budget allows, consider giving employees gift cards for local coffee shops, bookstores or supermarkets.
  • Scarefest: Invite employees to post reviews of their favorite scary movies, books or music on a curated workplace channel or social media platform. Consider a virtual movie night or book discussion.
Trick-or-Treat?

Here are some alternatives to going door-to-door this Halloween:

  • Grab-and-go: Set up an outdoor table with candy spread on top or in individual bags.
  • Scavenger hunt: Use clues to lead scavengers to different areas in the house or garden where there are treats hidden. Make the last stop a special prize.
  • Haunted drive: Many communities are planning drive-through haunted lanes, fields or barns that can be safely experienced from a vehicle.

The pandemic is forcing people to rethink their definition of a satisfying interaction. Many sources provide meaning in life meaning – work, hobbies, social and family time, faith, travel, fitness activities and simply being alone. With the “new normal,” it is more important than ever for employers to get creative to fulfill employees’ need for connection.

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