Survey Shows No Shortage of Imagination When it Comes to Employee Costumes

MENLO PARK, CA -- Dressing for success typically means wearing a business suit -- but on Halloween a clever costume may be the best way to get noticed. Accountemps recently asked workers to describe the most unique Halloween costumes they’ve seen in the office. The results ranged from someone dressed as a tuna sandwich to a person clad only in fig leaves.

The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 612 men and women aged 18 years or older and employed in professional environments.

Those surveyed were asked, “What is the strangest or most unique Halloween costume you’ve seen someone wear at your office?” Sample responses included:

  • “One person dressed as a mailbox.”
  • “We had someone dress as a Rubik’s Cube.”
  • “A guy in our office wore a pink tutu.”
  • “A person dressed as the Grim Reaper to protest scope creep.”
  • “One year someone dressed like a pair of scissors.”
  • “Someone was a ‘Toothless Fairy’ in a fairy costume with her two front teeth blacked out.”
  • “One woman dressed as a Gila monster.”
  • “One person in our office dressed as a lamppost.”

Food was a common theme, as these costumes show:

  • “Two employees wore sweatshirts with a big letter ‘P’ and each also had a black eye. They were black-eyed peas.”
  • “Someone dressed as a baked potato.”
  • “One employee came to work as a box of sugar.”
  • “A person dressed as a teabag.”
  • “We had a worker dress as a dinner table with dishes, glasses and utensils.”

Some employees in costume showed they were real “team players”:

  • “We had one person dress as an electrical socket and another as a plug.”
  • “One year all the staff members were crayons and the owner of the firm was the crayon box.”
  • “We did a group theme with everyone dressing in outfits from the movie Titanic.”

A few revelers needed to “clean up their acts”:

  • “One person dressed up as a garbage can.”
  • “A coworker dressed up as a dirt bag.”
  • “A guy dressed up as a washing machine with dirty clothes all over him.”
  • “We had someone dress as a walking mop.”

While donning Halloween costumes gives employees an opportunity to have fun and express themselves, it’s important to maintain tact and professionalism. Accountemps offers the following “dos and don’ts” for creating a festive -- yet fitting -- Halloween costume:

  • Don’t wear costumes that are too revealing. Risqué attire may come back to haunt you, since it can cause people to question your judgment and professionalism.
  • Do be original. Clever concepts and handmade costumes demonstrate your creativity and can spark conversation.
  • Don’t be insensitive. If you dress as a political or religious figure, for example, you might offend coworkers.
  • Do band together. Group or theme costumes can be a fun way to bond with colleagues.
  • Don’t wear cumbersome costumes. Make sure you can work comfortably in your attire if you’ll be in it all day. Also, your costume should not impede your ability to meet your responsibilities.
  • Do gauge your environment. If you work in an office where people generally don’t dress up for Halloween, save your costume for off-hours.

Accountemps has more than 330 offices throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at www.accountemps.com.

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