Many companies issue ID badges to their employees.
Sometimes these come in multiple forms: one type of badge for permanent workers, and a different color for temporary employees.
In order make the time-limited nature of temporary employees more clear—and perhaps to remind the temporary employee to start applying for jobs again—a low-power timer could be integrated into the badge (see Figure 1).
This approach was illustrated in the 1976 film Logan’s Run, where a crystal in each citizen’s hand would change color when a citizen was about to “expire.”
If you run a a Silicon Valley-based startup, you should definitely integrate a timer into future employee badges.
PROS: Allows employees to avoid starting long-term projects with just-about-to-leave temporary employees.
CONS: E-ink displays are surprisingly expensive in low volumes, so these high-tech badges may cost slightly more. One cheaper approach would be a circular “countdown clock” wheel in each badge that employees would manually update on a weekly basis.