Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Norwegians Monitor Bathroom Breaks

Do you ever get back to your desk after going to the bathroom to have someone ask where you were? It feels like a weird questions and an uncomfortable answer--and it feels like your privacy at work is somehow being violated. Well the Norwegians have taken that a step further according to Business Insurance:

Employees at a Norwegian insurance company have eight minutes per day to do their business before an alarm alerts managers of time spent away from their desks, including bathroom breaks. 

Using a new surveillance system, managers at a life insurance unit of Oslo, Norway-based DNB Bank A.S.A. are alerted by flashing lights when an employee has been away from their desk for “personal activities” beyond the allotted time, according to news reports.
Imagine if a company started doing this in the United States--the uproar would be tremendous. I thought getting a hall pass in school was rough but a countdown to do your business is way beyond that. Norway apparently operates a bit differently (or they just have too much loss of productivity from those "on bathroom breaks"). Amazingly, according to the article, this isn't the first time that a Norwegian company has done something like this (and this sounds much worse):

Norway’s chief workplace ombudsman Bjorn Erik Thon told The Telegraph that one firm required employees to wear a red bracelet during their menstrual cycles to indicate the need for more restroom visits.

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