Taste of home for the troops

6 September 2011
Saint Homobonus, patron saint of procurementA 15-year-old’s initiative has given US and Canadian troops in Afghanistan a slice of home – literally. Pizza 4 Patriots, the brainchild of teenager Kent Evans, and DHL Express teamed up to deliver deep-dish pizza pies to US servicemen and women around the world. More than 60,000 ‘special care packages’ (pizzas) have been delivered in the past three years. Mine’s a quattro stagioni... well, I am Italian. Give your CEO a cuddle I wonder how many of you embraced National Hug Your Boss Day, celebrated last month? The purpose of this event was to promote workplace relationships. A hug, according to TipTopJobs, is the main component in solving problems and leads to better morale, motivation and productivity. Personally, I’m glad I’m self-employed.   Business before pleasure Out of sight is not always out of mind when it comes to leaving work to go on a holiday. Almost 60 per cent of UK workers quizzed check their work email at least every other day while on their hols. Based on a survey of more than 5,000 senior-level professionals, career service Experteer found 57 per cent of men expect this extra work to get acknowledged, 47 per cent want compensation for their holiday being interrupted and about half of women want both. The Germans seem to have found a balance – one third never check their email and a fifth access it only when urgent. Having a break from work helps you to do a better job when you’re back there. Next summer, I recommend going ‘dark on comms’.   The buying game Speaking of a busman’s holiday, playing board games used to be all about, well, fun and games. Then along came Monopoly and other brain teasers that made you actually think. And now there’s a game all about buying so you can think about purchasing during both your work and free time. Hurray! The ‘Responsible Procurement Dilemma Game’ aims to raise awareness of the importance of environmentally friendly decisions, human rights, workers’ rights and anti-corruption. Order now – it “can be shipped globally and in any language you prefer”.   Bee-utiful boost to morale Five businesses (and 40,000 unwitting bees) have entered a pilot scheme to host beehives to test whether they can improve office morale. The scheme was offered to 560 businesses by a group representing firms in Holborn, Bloomsbury and St Giles. The bees seem to have found a good home and probably a good view, too, at the roof of law firm Olswang, where the staff absolutely loved the project. But what about the free honey? Well, at Olswang, the honey will be sold to the staff and money given to a charity.   iPads take to the skies United Airlines has teamed up with Apple on a high-flying (geddit?) collaboration. The airline is replacing 38lbs of paper flight manuals with a 1.5lb iPad. It hopes this will save 16 million sheets of paper a year and 326,000 gallons of fuel. Mobile FliteDeck, which runs on the iPad, will provide pilots with navigation for air, sea and land. Alaska Airlines has already got the system up and, er, flying after the idea got Federal Aviation Administration backing earlier this year.   Car shopping with a feminine touch And now for something that none of you will have trouble with – negotiating a good deal on some wheels. A survey of 1,000 female motorists has found more than 50 per cent think they are most likely to get ripped off when buying a car and more than 40 per cent don’t want to buy from a dealer unless accompanied by a man as they feel uncomfortable in the presence of a salesman. I know how they feel. Car retailer Quicks thinks it has the answer with an informal atmosphere, together with a mini-cinema to keep  children occupied while parents scout for an automobile. I’d rather watch Cars 2.   Tweet of the month @morningtory– Collaborative procurement saves money? My arse: it just generates red tape. ——- ☛ You can follow me on Twitter too – @sainthomobonus
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