Halloween 2020 – how to celebrate during a pandemic?
Halloween is a very popular holiday wildly celebrating in the USA, Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Spooky atmosphere, dressing up, going trick, or treating – those are funny traditions which are also a great opportunity for partying.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic group meetings are not recommended, but this does not mean that there is no way to celebrate. Halloween work activities can be conducted even when people work remotely. In this article, you will find how to celebrate Halloween at work on distance and keep your employees happy and safe.
Halloween – where did it come from?
The history of Halloween goes back to the times of Celts who were organizing Samhain – celebration at the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter which, at the time, was considered a time of hunger, darkness, and death. Ancient nations' celebration was very different than it is now, both sacrifices of animals and people were a part of the festival. The oldest mentions about Halloween in Europe can be found in Ireland mythology.
Therefore, people believed that during the Samhain (from 31 of October to 2nd of November), the boundary between the world of the living and the dead becomes blurred and stray souls have a chance to walk between the living ones once again. To protect themselves from ghosts, people were turning off the lights and making their homes look like they were abandoned. This fact is most probably the beginning of the tradition of the decorating house.
The very name of the holiday Halloween – is closely related to the holiday of the dead celebrated in the modern world. The name is a neologism derived from the "All Hallows Eve" – All Saints' Eve name.
How to celebrate quarantine Halloween during Covid-19?
Because of the limitations connected with preventing the disease from spreading there is no possible way to celebrate the holiday like everyone used to. Fortunately, there is no need to give up on Halloween fun with your coworkers! How?
A great solution that will allow subordinates to spend some time together in a good atmosphere is to organize a remote Halloween celebration. You can conduct this kind of event via videoconference during work hours (befor clocking out of work) or after work is over. It will make employees feel less lonely during social distancing, which will have a positive effect on team morale and productivity at work. Because of that, it is even more worth organizing such a meeting.
Halloween party for remote employees
On All Saints' Eve, it is popular to dress up, decorate houses, wander around trick or treating, watch scary movies, and listen to dreadful stories. The atmosphere in a horror climate allows distracting from the real world and its problems for a while and relaxes others.
For the Halloween activities party online to be successful, it is worth properly preparing for it. Here are the most interesting ideas that will easily add a spooky climate to the party and provide an atmosphere well fitted to the ghost festival.
The atmosphere is the key!
As in the case of a regular party, providing a good climate for Halloween celebration is a simple way to success. It depends on the atmosphere whether the participants of the meeting will feel the presence of creatures from the underworld, or after a quarter of an hour in the room with a glass in their hand, they will forget why they even came here.
While it is more difficult to create the right mood for an online meeting, it is not impossible. However, it requires more involvement on the part of the participants of the event and the creativity of those who are responsible for organizing the party. Sometimes the best results can be achieved with very simple methods. How to do it?
Before the planned beginning of the meeting, informed the participants that dressing up is obligatory. Employees do not have to dress very fancily. A simple mask, old t-shirt, and head covering covered in blood are enough to be a crazy surgeon. Costumes, even the simplest ones, stimulate the imagination and make people much more involved in the activities.
If your subordinates do not have an idea for a costume, it is worth providing them some inspiration. DIY last-minute costumes will be great for this occasion. Thanks to this solution, even those employees who do not like such games will be easier to convince to try them.
Another thing that will turn up the atmosphere of the Halloween celebration is decorations. Large installations are not expected from employees, but something small like symbolic pumping, lantern, or other decoration combined with dimmed light in the room will stimulate the imagination in the right way.
Do not forget about music! It always plays a huge role in building a proper atmosphere. It is good to wisely choose the video calling software that will allow playing music in the background. If it will be impossible, choosing the person responsible for music is a good way to take care of this case.
Additionally, an interesting solution to check is the occasional overlays offered by some video conferencing software. Messenger – Facebook's popular chat tool – offers a wide package of overlays on various occasions. A similar strategy was adopted by Zoom, which allows selecting backgrounds and overlays displayed during the meetings.
All of this combined will be enough to create a truly spooky Halloween atmosphere to celebrate almost as usual.
Pumpkin Carving Contest
The pumpkin lanterns are one of the symbols of Halloween and are perfect to use them as an occasion to introduce employees to a bit of healthy competition during the celebration. Before the event, the organizer should advise employees that those who would want to take part in the game should prepare a pumpkin for the party time. During the meeting, at the selected time, the participants will start making lanterns.
It will take some time, so it is good to keep others focused on doing something else – like telling scary stories or cheering players.
If the party will not last long enough, a good alternative is to organize a pumpkin show. In this version of the contest, employees prepare their lanterns before the celebration. During the party, the contest's participants will show they work for others and they will vote for the best one. The winner may receive something sweet or an extra free hour or day of work.
To properly mark such reword in the absence calendar it is worth using the option of creating a new type of absence, which Calamari Leave provides.
The best costume
Another competition where remote employees can prepare in advance and evaluate during the meeting is to create the best costume. The winner can also get something to eat or some time. It is a good occasion to use Halloween team building activities as a tool to help employees get to know each other better and feel at ease with each other.
Apart from the purely decorative element, adorning the workstation has more advantages. It can be an opportunity to win a prize! Before a meeting, those employees that will want to take a part in the competition should decorate the place where they usually work at home with a Halloween themed decoration and take a photo of it.
Pictures should be sent in a private message to the organizer who will conduct the voting for the anonymous best-decorated workstation.
Spooky Halloween Storytelling
When it gets dark, it will be a great time to move on to calmer, anxiety-provoking, and fearful games – which is what Halloween is so famous for. Telling spooky stories, especially true ones, in the perfect way to immerse in the dark atmosphere of ghosts and phantoms.
Many interesting inspirations of stories can be found on the Internet, for example on the [SCP Foundation]() – a website http://www.scpwiki.com/devoted to creative writing about monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings. However, it is always better to rely on one's own imagination. Especially if there is a competition to win.
The participants tell their stories and the rest of the guests choose the one that turns out to be the scariest and most interesting one. The winner gets the prize, and every one of the partying employees gets a thrill.
Watching horror movies together
Watching spooky movies about ghosts, demons and mad murderers is a popular way to spend Ghost Night. That is why organizing the joint screening during Halloween remote employees meeting is also a good idea. To do so it is good to use one of the popular streaming platforms or tools that enable this option. Among the most popular are:
- Netflix Party
The film list can be prepared in advance so that everyone can add their proposals and decide what they want to watch. There's also one important thing – an organizer should not force anyone to stay to watch movies, it should be entertainment, not an obligation.
Although Halloween 2020 will look completely different than usual, nothing prevents companies and startups from taking the opportunity to have fun with employees in the form of a Halloween team building activities event. Many of the simple games will keep people entertained and allow them to break away from everyday worries and refresh their minds a bit.
If you are looking for inspiration regarding team-building games and meetings for remote employees, we encourage you to read our article with a selection of the 19 most interesting remote integration games. And if you have a question for us - feel free to contact us!
With the punch cards and magnetic time cards being usually associated with employee clock in and clock out systems one may think that using a mobile app is an unnecessary fancy gadget. And that can be the reason behind a huge frustration that would be easy to avoid.