Ask Your Boss: Is It Okay to Bring My Spouse to a Work Conference?

My company is sending me to a week long work conference which will be held in a large metropolitan city. I have the option of bringing my husband with me. What do you as a boss think about your employees who bring their spouses to work conferences? Is it frowned upon or it does not matter?

Honestly, I personally don’t like when employees bring their spouses to work conferences. I suspect the worst in people. Really. This is why this blog is called What Your Boss Really Thinks But Never Tells You. I thrive to be as honest as humanly possible when I reply to my reader’s questions. So there you have it: I don’t like it when my employees bring their spouses to work conferences. Yet I would never say a word to my employees about this. I would frown to myself in the loneliness of my office when they tell me they are going with a spouse.

People bring their families with them to work conferences all the time because they want to make a mini family vacation out of work trips. It sounds innocent. Sort of. Officially there is nothing wrong with it. Unofficially (and in my humble opinion) it is a little disturbing. To me. As I mentioned above I suspect the worst in people. I always question if an employee will start skipping work sessions at the conference because their spouse does not want to be alone all day. I am going to wonder if an employee is submitting his or hers spouse’s lunch receipts for reimbursement as his/her own.

I would love for my employees to keep their work life separate from their personal life. Will I ever mention any of the above to my employees? No. They can bring their spouses. I cannot control what they do at the conference. Do I like it? No. Will I ever admit to it? No. Remember, this is my personal opinion. Every boss is different.

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