Apparently it is very common for academic professionals (both students and professors) to room together at conferences in order to save costs. In fact, it's considered bad form to pay extra for your own room because then you are denying a poor student with less resources the opportunity to share expenses with you.
This is a bit of a shocker to me after nearly 20 years in the corporate world where I have always had my own hotel room when I traveled on business. In talking with some of my colleagues I have learned that more and more companies are asking employees (at least lower grade level employees) to share rooms in order to reduce costs associated with business travel.
Again I say, Whoa!
I am against sharing rooms with colleagues for the following reasons:
- People are vulnerable when they sleep. They may talk in their sleep, they may walk in their sleep, they may drool or do other unpleasant things that they don't want co-workers to know about. Shared sleeping space (with someone other than an intimate) increases the normal vulnerability associated with sleep-time.
- Employees who share a hotel room with a colleague are always "on." They never get the downtime that is so essential to being a productive worker for an 8- or 10- or 12-hour day.
- There is no way to effectively manage a roommate selection process. If employees are allowed to choose, invariably someone will feel "left out" (sound like high school instead of the workplace?). If the company assigns roommates, a few bad pairings are inevitable (see #1 above about vulnerability).
To my way of thinking, the costs simply do not outweigh the downsides of asking co-workers to share hotel rooms.
What do you think? Am I neurotic? A Prude? Or just a Sensible HR Lady? (ooh - a new blog identity, perhaps!!) ;-)