Ahh, the sick day. Corporate American speak for “extra PTO days.” They’re a professionals get out of jail free card and a one way ticket to the unconventional “long weekend.”
Some companies are getting hip to the nefarious use of these days and moving to the all-encompassing “time off” model, giving employees a set amount of days to do with which they please. Still, others are stuck in prehistoric times and engage in a proverbial game of chicken with employees over what constitutes ‘illness’ (Seriously, how do companies define “sick” day? I mean we’re all dying a little bit each day, aren’t we?)
But here comes Google over the top with their fancy computer and immigrant tech talent trying to take the fun out of gaming the system. The same folks who gave us the Incognito window are helping ‘the man’ predict when we’re going to be sick. Imagine a world where your boss could know when you’re supposed to be sick and call your bluff on that well-thought-out sick day.
Of course, your boss being able to know if you’re actually sick and then proactively berating you for lying about it isn’t something we’ll see in our lifetime. Because HIPPA and all. But there are some workplace healthcare innovations that should have been rolled out yesterday …
ID cards that stop working
If you are going to bug everyone by sniffling through seasonal allergies or the common cold then apologize coyly when the rest of the office looks like a Dayquil commercial the following week, you deserve death by firing squad. The problem would easily be solved if you barred them from accessing the office during their tenure as a mouth breather.
If Google’s technology can tell me when my next bout of diarrhea is going to occur, maybe it can identify patient zero in the office’s last cold outbreak. Wouldn’t it be nice to know who was the culprit that brought your outfit to a halt? That way you can properly pubically tar and feather them for their crime against humanity.
A detector that indicates how many germs the office close talker just deposited directly into your open mouth during your most recent conversation.