Study Urges Large Companies to Tell Employees to Stay Home but Dress to the Nines for Online Meetings

An empty stage greets attendees of the 2020 ASSCAM Annual Meeting

By Paul Riegler on 1 April 2020
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IN THE ETHER, April 1 — On the opening day of its annual meeting, this year held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the American Service Society of Corporate Ambulatory Managers, or ASSCAM, announced findings of a research report that underscored similar research from three years earlier, namely that its members should encourage their employees to stay home and use videoconferencing.

The group officially returned to Hell, a village in the Lånke area of the municipality of Stjørdal in Trøndelag county, Norway, for the meeting, although no one actually was there except the janitor, who turned the video system on.

The study from three years ago found that a move towards more videoconferencing will relieve hotels of the responsibility of unnecessarily servicing numerous guest rooms, which in turn should help the hospitality industry return to profitability.  An update to the study found that corporate employees are happiest when they are dressed to the nines for virtual meetings.

“In an age of a global pandemic, the report suddenly had greater meaning,” said one member who plans to attend the event from his bedroom, wearing pajamas and a t-shirt with a silk-screen printed wing collar and bowtie.

ASSCAM is the largest association of corporate travel managers in the galaxy.

The study, conducted by the independent research firm Takë Shortcutti, surveyed 50,000 executives from ASSCAM’s membership.   It examined the differences in employee satisfaction and happiness between those who dressed formally for meetings and those who did not.

The researchers also interviewed over 6.3 business travelers and asked similar questions.

“We have to face reality,” said Rüdiger Gruber, the association’s group vice president for the airline industry wing. “Airlines’ best customers are overentitled ham sandwiches and if they want better treatment in the air, they need to first dress properly for virtual meetings.”

“We are taking the findings from the Takë Shortcutti survey quite seriously,” said Scott Kirby, the newly installed CEO of World Global Airlines and former United Airlines and American Airlines president, and an ASSCAM member. “We plan to begin to implement some of the firm’s recommendations as soon as it is practical to do so.”

“Business travelers simply cannot perform their duties the way things stand,” said Michael Frieden, the group’s senior vice president of membership, who spoke to FBT on camera wearing an elegant chiffon evening gown. “The Takë Shortcutti study has twice identified serious changes that need to take place.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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