Adding your boss or coworkers to a business trip can be fraught with issues. Traveling Together is a series on Road Warriorette about avoiding the pitfalls that crop up when traveling with others.
One of the most awkward things in travel can be sharing a hotel room with a co-worker. With companies trying harder than ever to save money, this is unfortunately becoming more and more common. Here are some tips on how to be a good roommate, and how to survive if the other person is not so considerate.
- Share the space. Don’t take up all the room in the closet, drawers, or bathroom counter.
- Stay neat. I wasn’t able to do it in college (sorry college roommate!), but keeping your stuff contained and in one area is key to a harmonious hotel room sharing experience. Don’t leave your clothes lying all around the hotel room–try to keep them in or around your suitcase. Don’t scatter your toiletries all over the bathroom counter–your contacts holder and toothbrush can easily go back in your travel bag each morning after you’re done with them.
- Ask for more stuff. Call the front desk and ask for more hangars, towels, pillows, or anything else the two of you need to be more comfortable.
- Work somewhere else. Scope out a separate work space, just in case you can’t work in your room. The hotel lobby, a lounge, or a restaurant are all possible alternate mobile offices. Same goes for personal phone calls–it may be better to chat somewhere besides your room.
- Stay quiet during sleeping hours. If you have radically different sleep schedules, be quiet when your roommate is a asleep. Don’t turn the overhead lights on. Bring a book light if you need to read before bed.
- On the flip side. Bring things that will help you sleep in case your roommate isn’t as polite as you are. Earplugs, eye mask, headphones with white noise app, or whatever else you need.
- Spend as little time as possible in your room. If your roommate is a total stranger, or if you truly don’t get along, it may just be easier to treat your room as a place to sleep and spend most of your time elsewhere.
- Figure out a morning schedule. Do you get up early? Do you shower at night? Figure out, ahead of time, ways to share the bathroom in the morning so that you both can be ready on time.
Sharing space is challenging, but it can be done. The two keys are to be cognizant of how whatever you do affects your roommate, and to be prepared for your roommate to not be so thoughtful as you. That way no matter what you will be able to sleep and get your work done.
Readers, any other tips for sharing a room with a coworker?