Why wearing a Halloween costume to work may make you a happier employee

Playing dress up in the office has quite a few work-related benefits.
Getty Images | Mike Powell

Most of us save our spooky Halloween costumes for after working hours, but why wait until then? According to a survey by workplace culture company O.C. Tanner, playing dress up in the office has quite a few work-related benefits.

The firm collected survey responses from 953 full-time adult employees and asked, "Does your place of employment allow employees to dress up and wear a costume to work on Halloween?"

Forty-five percent of the respondents said yes, 35 percent said no and 20 percent were unsure. However, 61 percent of respondents believe that employees at their organization should be able to dress up and wear a costume on Halloween.

The survey also found that of the 953 employees who were surveyed, those who are able to dress up at work show higher engagement than those who are not allowed to do so.

For example, 73 percent of those who can dress up at work are highly motivated to contribute to the success of the organization they work for, compared to 58 percent of those who can't come to work in costume.

Additionally, 68 percent of those who can dress up are proud to tell others they work for their organization, compared to 58 percent of those who can't.

Sixty-five percent of those who can dress up would recommend their organization to a friend as a good place to work versus 49 percent of those who can't.

Finally, 73 percent of those who can dress up fully support the values for which their organization stands, versus 58 percent of those who can't.

Overall, respondents who are able to wear costumes to work harbor more positive feelings toward their organization than their counterparts.

O.C. Tanner's vice president Gary Beckstrand tells CNBC Make It that Halloween is indicative of a festive time, which gives employees a chance to "gather and be social." This, in turn, boosts workplace morale.

A scene from "The Wolf of Wall Street" starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Source: Thewolfofwallstreet.com

However, he says, many companies hesitate to partake in the festivities and it ultimately hurts their employee engagement.

"By creating that opportunity to have fun and to socialize, you create that camaraderie," says Beckstrand.

The ability to celebrate with your coworkers falls under well-being, says the vice president, and emotional well-being in the office is just as important to employees as physical well-being, he explains.

"People want to feel comfortable around the people with whom they work," he says. This idea of being social in the workplace is especially significant for younger employees who, Beckstrand says, don't separate work from life.

"As [millennial workers] increasingly blur that line between work and life, creating opportunities to really socialize in the workplace is important," he says.

As it pertains to Halloween, Beckstrand says that allowing employees to dress up tells them that "you trust them to use good judgment, have fun within the work guidelines and that you want them to express their individuality."

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