World’s Largest Association of Corporate Travel Managers to Members: Travel in Pajamas to Bring Work-at-Home Culture to Business Travel

An empty stage greeting attendees of the 2020 ASSCAM Annual Meeting

By Paul Riegler on 1 April 2022
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ASSHOLMEN, SWEDEN, April 1 — On the opening day of its annual meeting, the American Service Society of Corporate Ambulatory Managers, or ASSCAM, announced the findings of a research report that found that a blending of the work-at-home culture associated with the pandemic with pre-pandemic style travel could be achieved by having travelers wear their pajamas in airports, train stations, airplanes, and trains when going to and from business meetings as well as when attending conferences and other events.

This is the first time in three years that ASSCAM held its annual meeting as a full in-person event.

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

Last year’s event was also held in Assholmen, albeit as a hybrid-online event with only a few people, namely three, in attendance in a hall that seats 2,000.  In 2020, the meeting was officially located in Hell, a village in the Lånke area of the municipality of Stjørdal in Trøndelag county, Norway, although no one actually was there except the janitor, who turned the video system on.

The study, conducted by the independent research firm Takë Shortcutti, pointed out that companies would gain access to new marketing opportunities by providing conference and event attendees with pajamas with logos on them, given the amount of space that nightwear typically provides for them.  Prime jammie real estate, such as sleeves, the back of the nightshirt, or posterior, could bring it sorely needed revenue to meeting and conference organizers similar to other sponsorship sales.

The Takë Shortcutti study also pointed out that, should meeting attendees choose to don their own nightwear, sponsors could offer to customize those garments with logos on site, gaining additional exposure.

“After 27 months of pandemic, business travelers are used to Sleeping with Jacques during the business day,” said a long-time ASSCAM member who attended last year’s meeting from her bedroom wearing the luxury sleepwear brand’s sleepwear. “Just because we are going out in public doesn’t mean we need to follow the strict dress code that apparently was introduced by the Edwardians.  Pajamas should be the order of the day until we declare this pandemic over.”

The study, conducted in January through March of 2022, surveyed 75,000 executives from ASSCAM’s membership.   It examined what outfits they wore when telecommuting, what they had worn to the office prior to the pandemic, and how their habits had changed over the past 27 months.  Those participating in the survey were asked to send in a selfie showing them working at home and, to no one’s surprise in particular, some 87% were wearing pajamas.  In addition, 6% were wearing traditional suits and ties while at home, while the remaining 7% were wearing only a smile.

The researchers also interviewed 5,300 retired executives and former ASSCAM members to gain a broader perspective on the issue.

The Takë Shortcutti consultants formulated a list of recommendations that would bring meeting attendees as well as event organizers maximum benefits from the implementation of the new policy.  They also authored an etiquette guide that event attendees would receive, such as when to wear undergarments under one’s nightwear and to not stare if you see another attendee’s dingaling poking through.

“We need to understand that our members have become enamored of leisurewear and nightgowns during the workday, changing only for Zoom meetings,” said Rüdiger Gruber, who is serving his second year as CEO at ASSCAM.   “Bringing nightwear into the daylight is the perfect solution to maintaining workplace satisfaction.”

Gruber is known as a forward-thinking association executive.   Last year he announced a partnership with Pornhub for ASSCAM members after the ASSCAM board was surprised to find out that ASSCAM had more than one meaning.

“We are taking the findings from the Takë Shortcutti survey quite seriously,” said Scott Kirby, the recently 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 will be far more comfortable when performing their duties in the pandemic era, without having to bother with anything but pyjamas,” said Michael Frieden, the group’s senior vice president of membership, who spoke to FBT on camera wearing an elegant chiffon negligee . “The Takë Shortcutti study has once again identified key changes that need to take place in the workplace.”

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting from Assholmen, Sweden.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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