McDowell’s Whiskey App Helps Workers Slack Off

Now when you are doing some online shopping or watching Netflix at work, you don’t have to have that constant anxiety that your boss will walk by and see you aren’t working and you don’t have to try to quickly fumble to a different tab or open your inbox.

Indian whiskey brand McDowell’s new Web app “Boss Patrol” — created by DDB Mudra — is here to help you keep on slacking off during office hours. All you have to do is download the free app to your work computer and have your colleagues download it too. Then using the app, you record a harmless secret warning word or phrase, like “What’s the time.” Then you add your colleagues who sit near you to your Boss Patrol network. If you are the first person to notice that your boss is heading towards you and your colleges, you can say your warning word and the app will detect it and notify your colleagues and will automatically pop presentations and spreadsheets onto their computer screens to cover up whatever else they may be doing. Also, if you don’t have a microphone on your computer, instead of programming a warning word, you can designate a key on your keyboard to be the “rescue” key, which also signals everyone in your network and pops up “work” material to cover up your YouTube binge.

This isn’t the first slack-off tool that’s been created. CBS Sports created a “Boss Button” for its March Madness on Demand online application in 2010. Like “Boss Patrol,” CBS’ “Boss Button,” when you click it,  would turn off the audio of the basketball game  and brings up fake spreadsheets on your computer screen. It’s not surprising that these kinds of online apps have been popping up in today’s digital, mobile, super-connected world where personal time and office time are blurring. People are doing more work at home, after-hours, and spending more time at work on personal things.

It’s a cute idea that plays off of the whiskey brand’s tagline, “The Spirit of Friendship,” because worker bees have to stick together and watch out for the Bill Lumbergh of their office creeping over their shoulders.

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