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Q.
To cut costs, my company is considering making staff share hotel rooms when we travel. How can I convince management that this is a bad idea?

A.
Companies may find it difficult to resist making employees bunk together to save money on the road. However, an effective strategy to counter this directive may be to meet with management and show how such a policy can cost more than it saves.

I suggest addressing the problem with several points. First, forcing employees to share rooms can be construed as encroaching on their personal time and space, which could quickly drain morale and productivity.

Second, in the era of #MeToo, the specter of sexual harassment is one companies should scrupulously guard against. While it can occur in almost any setting, removing the more obviously problematic situations, such as sharing a room, seems a prudent measure to stave off potential damages ranging from lawsuits to jail time.

Last, forced room-sharing may violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Compelling workers with an accommodated medical condition to share a room without full privacy for their medications or medical equipment could easily result in legal complications for the company.

If management refuses to budge, suggest the company at least give workers the option of getting a single room and paying only the difference. It is an imperfect solution, but it offers a chance to snooze rather than seethe in an uncomfortable situation. E



Dan Lumpkin, organizational psychologist, is the president of management-consulting company Lumpkin & Associates in Fairhope, AL. Need answers? Email your career-related questions to askdan@exhibitormagazine.com.
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