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‘Flight shame’ and the return of business travel


US business travel is back to about 50 per cent of its 2019 levels. But post-pandemic and amid the climate crisis, can we justify those quick jaunts to sit in airless conference rooms and sip bad cocktails with strangers?

In this episode, Isabel Berwick, Working It host and the FT’s Work and Careers editor, talks to Evan Konwiser, executive vice-president of product and strategy at American Express Global Business Travel. As an advocate for business travel, Evan thinks the future is going to be about making meetings unusual or special. Meanwhile, FT columnist Pilita Clark questions whether we should really be encouraging our staff to get on planes given the climate crisis. Both Evan and Pilita look at near-future trends: the new practice of blending business travel with leisure time – or ‘bleisure’ as some call it – and why your employer may even be booking your vacation. 

Want to read more? 

Pilita Clark on the post-pandemic future of business travel 

https://www.ft.com/content/75d096e5-a429-496b-a62d-f8f6b9b2fb35

More on the Swedish ‘flygskam’ or flight shaming 

https://www.ft.com/content/5c635430-1dbc-11ea-97df-cc63de1d73f4

Emma Jacobs on the rise of ‘bleisure’ 

https://www.ft.com/content/8003a384-bc22-4ae9-b1c1-2c5452136cbe

EY sends new recruits on a trip to Disney

https://www.ft.com/content/da797e20-85fe-4beb-a054-c611aebfdfd9

American Express business travel report outlining its view that business travel will become the centre ‘of the new company culture’ 

https://explorer.amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/Why-Business-Travel-Is-the-Center-of-The-New-Company-Culture.html

Salesforce’s ‘trailblazer ranch’ for staff meetings in California 

https://www.salesforce.com/news/stories/introducing-trailblazer-ranch/

FT subscriber? Sign up for the new weekly Working It newsletter. We’ll cover all things workplace and management — plus exclusive reporting on trends, tips and what’s coming next. One-click sign up at www.ft.com/newsletters

We love to hear from you. What do you like (or not)? What topics should we tackle? Email the team at workingit@ft.com or Isabel directly at isabel.berwick@ft.com. Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter 

Subscribe to Working It wherever you get your podcasts — please listen, rate and subscribe!

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction from Renée Kaplan and Manuela Saragosa. Assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music from Metaphor Music. Produced by Novel.


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