Being connected is good. With our smartphones always in our pockets--or our hands--we are constantly reachable. When we take this into the bathroom, we go too far.
A friend of mine recently had a woman come into her office bathroom chatting away--on speakerphone. Do I even need to say this? No speaker phones in the bathroom! Talking on the phone is bad enough when you're in the bathroom, but definitely no speaker phones in a shared bathroom. Maybe you're some sort of special princess who has no bodily functions but it's guaranteed your co-workers do and you don't want those sounds coming over your speaker phone.
Once more, no talking on the phone while in the office bathroom, regardless of what you are doing in there. Sure, you may be running in to grab a tissue or to put some hand sanitizer on your hands, but you can hang up. No one will die.
Even this creepy company that makes an employee badge that not only tracks where you are, physically, but also listens to your tone of voice, turns off the sensors in the bathroom. Note to employees: If you're going to have a screaming argument with your co-worker, I guess the bathroom is the place to do it.
Managers, I love data. I really do. Data is great. But, this goes too far. You do not need to know where your employees are at all times. You do not need to know their heart rates. Yes, companies can learn things from that. MIT finance professor Andrew Lo tracked some stock traders and found out that the best ones had better control of their emotions than the worst ones. Did we really need to study to figure that out? Lo said, to the Washington Post, "Imagine if all your traders were required to wear wristwatches that monitor their physiology, and you had a dashboard that tells you in real time who is freaking out."
Yes, imagine that. It's like putting every employee into the ICU, with a bunch of nurses sitting around monitoring their every move. This is not a good idea. It is overkill.
Let's all disconnect for a bit, shall we? Put your phone down--or at least in your pocket--before going into the bathroom. Don't buy the fancy badges or heart rate monitors that tell you exactly how everything is in every minute of every day. Aside from the creepy factor, there are bound to be some ADA violations in that. If you're looking at tone of voice or heart rates, you're going to be treating people differently based on their health. Do you want that?
Sure, you can just look at data in the aggregate and say, "We've found out that 90 percent of you are weepy messes after meeting with the boss," or you could just pay attention and say, "Hey, that manager is a jerk. Maybe we should work with him to change his behavior or we should kick him to the curb."
Step away. Take a breath. People don't need to know what you are doing all the time. And please, go to the bathroom in private.