While celebrating holidays around the workplace helps make the work environment less of a grind, safety is an important consideration. Employees and managers alike should remain vigilant even during holidays to prevent mishaps. Decorations, holiday foods and special activities are all welcome holiday additions to the workplace, but they should be enjoyed with safety in mind.
Many people enjoy bringing special foods to work during holiday periods to share with their coworkers. If you do this, label any foods that contain nuts so those with allergies are aware of the food content. Offer one batch of cookies with nuts and one without, clearly labeling each. It's nice to include a note listing the ingredients of anything you might bring to work, as many people are vegetarians, vegans or have restricted diets. Don't leave perishable foods sitting around the office where they might go bad. Don't share cups or bottles and risk spreading colds and disease.
Particularly at Halloween, some workplaces allow employees to show up in costume. This livens up the workplace, but don't let your costume be your downfall. If your costume involves a mask that covers your face, don't wear it while driving. This is illegal as well as dangerous. Be careful with any parts of your costume that are dangling or loose, particularly around stairs and elevators. Wearing revealing, suggestive or inappropriate costumes in the workplace can lead to discomfort on the part of coworkers and even complaints.
Decorate your workplace for Halloween, Valentine's Day or Christmas to bring a bit of holiday spirit to the daily grind. Don't put up decorations that impede traffic flow or block fire exits. Be careful not to hang crepe paper or any flammable materials close to light bulbs or heating units. As with costumes, avoid decorations that involve inappropriate themes or anything that may cause offense or discomfort to anyone who works in your workplace.
The office holiday party is an infamous occasion for gaffes and embarrassing behavior. Plan your office party safely, and avoid adding tragedy to this unfortunate mix. Most importantly, make arrangements so that no one drives under the influence of alcohol. Provide cabs, arrange designated drivers or host an alcohol-free party. If your party is very large, consider hiring security to keep everything under control.