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
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Guru Careers: Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant

£16 - 20k: Guru Careers: A Graduate Editor / Editorial Assistant is needed to ...

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf