Skip to main content

Workplace Trends: The Toilet Timer

If a co-worker constantly annoys you by sneaking off to the loo a little too often, then you're going to like a bathroom alarm system that goes off whenever he or she spends too much time in the can!

job fails - Happy Monday Morning! Have You Started Optimizing Your Bathroom Breaks Yet?
see more Monday Through Friday

The hi-tech surveillance system is already annoying a Norwegian company's customer service employees, who can find themselves tripping alarm bells and flashing lights (no, really) if they spend more than eight accumulated minutes in the bog throughout the day. Or take an extended smoking break. Or explode a snack in the break room microwave that they leave for someone else to clean up. Does it really matter what they're doing? If employees are away from their desks for more than a certain number of minutes, then everyone in the company will know, which can motivate or demotivate people -- but most likely demotivate people and send morale straight down the proverbial toilet.

The company says the alarm system is needed to monitor "staffing needs" to make sure customers are taken care of. Others are calling it a violation of human rights. The whole thing reminds me of the infamous red bracelet incident. What's going on, Norway? You're supposed to be one of those model Northern European work cultures everyone envies! The company will now review the policy. Employees, meanwhile, just might be reviewing their resumes.


  1. Definitely the time of employees should be checked. As sometimes employees use the liberty in a bad way.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Seven tips for dealing with a jealous coworker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Employees Blame Technology For Slowing Them Down At Work

Do you feel like you're always working, but never getting very much done? If so, you're not alone. Too much technology, and too much red tape, keep slowing us down at work. But technology, and more of it, is supposed to make our lives easier! Too much technology, however, does not compute for employees. A new SAP/Knowledge@Wharton survey of almost 700 corporate employees finds a full 60% of respondents blame technology "for inhibiting their ability to meet strategic goals." Gee, anyone who has ever used the self-checkout line at the grocery store can tell you that. However, 40% surveyed said that looking for ways to simplify the technology has been "a low priority" for their company. Too much paperwork is an on-going problem for the workplace, too. A new ServiceNow survey of nearly 1,000 managers finds that 90% are doing too much administrative work, no matter the size of the company. This paperwork includes filling out forms, writing status updates, …

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…