Planet Business

Sociable colleagues, the fireworks boom and Twitter’s ‘Project Lightning’

In Numbers: The sociable worker


Percentage of Irish professionals who socialise with colleagues outside of the workplace, according to a survey by international recruitment company

Robert Walters

, which said this was above a European average of 18 per cent.



Percentage of Irish professionals who apparently believe socialising outside of the office ensures a good working relationship with colleagues. Such socialising “can galvanise a group of individuals”, says

Robert Walters Ireland


Louise Campbell

, or “kick up a myriad of HR issues”.


Percentage of professionals at organisations with 2,000 or more employees who socialise outside of the workplace. (They’ve more options to choose from.)

Image of the Week: Boom, boom, boom

Meanwhile, back at the Fireworks Supermarket, a chain of southern state US outlets specialising in making its customers go “oh, oh, oh”, the tills are ringing ahead of tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations. As the

Fourth of July

approaches, fireworks retailers are enjoying an explosion in business said to be prompted by the increased quality of products, with some outlets predicting record sales this year. Not every US state permits the sale of consumer fireworks, though, and some only permit the humble sparkler and “other novelties”.

The Lexicon: Project Lightning

“Project Lightning” is Twitter’s plan to ruin itself in the eyes of many of its stalwart devotees. The idea is that “curated content” will appear in users’ timelines – the timelines that used to be solely up to the user to “curate”. Superficially, Project Lightning is designed to promote live events and/or trending topics, making


even more of a news platform than ever and allowing big media groups to dominate a once- democratic network. The backdrop to this scheme, which is expected to be unleashed on users by the end of the year, is that Twitter needs to boost revenues fast in order to avoid a stock market thunderstorm.

Getting to know: Julie Hamp

Julie Hamp was, until Wednesday, the North American chief communications officer of Japanese car giant


. It’s all gone sadly wrong for the American, who was arrested in Japan last month accused of illegally importing a prescription painkiller and has now resigned. Hamp has reportedly told police that she asked her father to send her 57 oxycodone tablets to a Tokyo hotel to relieve knee pain and was not aware that this was breaking the law. According to the New York Times, per-capita consumption of oxycodone in Japan is a 60th what it is in the pill-popping US.

The list: 2015's biggest economic losers Bloomberg got a bunch of economists to consult their worn-out crystal balls on the question of which will be the worst-performing economy this year. Curiously, seven countries fared worse in the survey than Greece in eighth place. They were Serbia, Croatia and this lot:

5 Switzerland GDP in the Alpine nation is predicted to grow by a less-than-steep 0.1 per cent.

4 Argentina The Argentine economy is suffering from soaring unemployment and inflation and will contract 1.5 per cent this year.

3 Brazil The South American economic powerhouse saw a flurry of forecast downgrades earlier this year and GDP is now expected to shrink by 1.6 per cent.

2 Russia Putin’s Russia is on track for a 3.5 per cent contraction, amid international sanctions and depressed oil revenue.

1 Ukraine Oh dear. The conflict-battered country will see its GDP contract 4 per cent this year, which will make it the "biggest global growth loser". However, it's only July – there's still plenty of time for Greece to claim the top spot in this unenviable chart.