Business Diary: Office knees-ups cost half-a-billion

Phew, we were starting to worry. Without certain hardy perennials – a Daily Mail story about repeats on the telly, for example – it just isn't Christmas. And with less than two weeks to go, we hadn't seen the "cost of the Christmas party" classic. Fortunately, here's Travelodge with some dubious research about the economic cost of a knees-up. "This revelry will cost £620m," the budget hotel group reckons. "On average, workers will spend three hours and five minutes just staring into space due to a raging hangover."



We're from HP and we're here to help

Is Hewlett-Packard the scariest company in the world? If you're due to negotiate with HP any time soon, cross your fingers it doesn't send one of its "lean sigma black belts". This is – no joke – how HP describes an elite group of European staff who it puts through business school each year. They're particularly focused on identifying waste, which presumably means telling employers how many staff should get the chop.



'Rich sent me' cuts no ice at Virgin

It's no surprise to us Sir Richard Branson is a popular guy, but Virgin Atlantic, his own airline, reckons he may not have quite so many friends as it might appear. The "I'm a friend of Richard" gambit is the most common tactic of customers seeking an upgrade, Virgin says, though it has also published some more imaginative efforts. We particularly like the story of the man who suggested to the Virgin desk the stress of his wife's pregnancy merited an upgrade – for him, that is, rather than his wife, who the customer was happy to see left in economy.



The £60k lunch not on RBS watch

So the Diary owes Royal Bank of Scotland an apology. We ran a snippet on Saturday remarking on the bank's chief executive, Stephen Hester, labelling his own colleagues "stupid" following reports of a bash earlier this year in which a group of bankers noisily spent £60,000 on a boozy afternoon in a London bar. The bank points out that the employer of the boozers in question was never identified – so Hester wasn't talking about his own staff but the métier. Our humble apologies for having suggested that RBS bankers would ever behave in such a fashion.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea