This post is sponsored by Alsco Australia. Below, they’ve outlined tips for designing and maintaining better workplace washrooms. But first, we’re dying to know: do you ever work from the office bathroom? Tell us here, and then read on for tips for keeping it cleaner, especially those of you who have answered “yes”.
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A recent study found that workers in the UK spend nearly 41 hours each year in the bathroom. That’s a whole week! That should give a clear idea on how big of an influence the washroom can have on the mood and the attitude of a worker. It’s also a place where people from different departments can converge and share ideas. Even Steve Jobs saw this potential in washrooms, which is why he ordered that there should only be two washrooms in the entire Pixar studios. He wanted the people from the different departments to meet and mix.
Because the washroom is an essential part of the workplace, its design should be well thought out and be carefully considered. There are several things that should be considered in designing a workplace washroom to improve the employee experience there. While the washroom, by necessity, has to be functional, that should not be the only thing to be considered in its design. There are other things that should be factored. Improving the overall experience of the employees when using the bathroom should be a major factor in the design too.
Here are some of the things that should be considered when designing a workplace washroom, to help improve the experience of the employees that will be using it:
Keep it fresh
You need to include proper ventilation in the provisions for the washroom that you are going to design. Any unwanted smell should be removed right away by adequate ventilation. Employees are not going to be able to relax in a washroom that smells bad. Air fresheners can be used to remove unwanted odors inside the restroom.
Pay attention to lighting
If you want the washroom to become a place where employees can lose some of their stress, lighting can be one of the most powerful tools that you can use. Soft lighting can give a peaceful and calm air to the washroom.
Stream some music
While you are working on making the washroom an oasis of relaxation in the workplace, consider having some music there while you are at it. Include in the washroom design a means to play relaxing music. The music will have a direct relaxing effect and it can also be an acoustic shield to offer privacy to users.
The use of locks should be considered carefully in designing a workplace washroom. While locks should be placed on each individual stall, you need to think about installing locks on the washroom doors. If the washroom door is locked from the inside, other employees might be unable to access it when they have to. It would also hamper the ability of the management to respond quickly, should an employee fail to respond after being inside for a long time. Placing a lock on the outside, or even just a latch where a padlock can be placed can also be a problem since that can be used by pranksters to trap an occupant.
One fact that should be remembered when designing washroom doors is that not everyone washes their hands when they use the bathroom. This poses a problem because that means if the bathroom door is designed in the same way as a regular door, then those who wash their hands after using the washroom will have to handle surfaces that are touched by non-washers.
That kind of defeats the whole purpose of washing hands and can be upsetting for those who are serious about keeping their hands clean. The washroom doors should be designed in such a way that one does not have to handle anything when exiting. This can be achieved by using doors that swing outward. Another solution is to drop the door to the washroom altogether. This can be achieved with the use of a labyrinth design for the entrance, where the interior can be hidden from the outside, but there is no barrier that needs to be opened in order to get inside.
One of the most annoying things to employees using a washroom is to have to wonder whether a stall is occupied or not. This can easily be resolved by designing the bathroom stalls so that it can show right away if it is occupied or not. This can be achieved by using stall locks that also show signs on the outside that it is currently occupied.
A washroom that has a ceiling that is equipped with ventilation or even one with ventilation can cause sound to be carried over. In the washroom that can be very embarrassing. Be sure to include some sort of insulation that can dampen sound.
We have mentioned about how some employees do not wash their hands after using the washroom. That kind of behavior should be discouraged, but in the meantime, it can cause frustration to employees who do wash their hands and are very health conscious. Another way to go around this problem is by using touchless devices. The following devices have touchless versions that should be included into your washroom design:
- Hand dryers
- Dispensers for paper towel
- Dispensers for toilet paper
- Soap dispensers
Employees will appreciate the availability of hot water in the restroom, so be sure to include provisions for it on your washroom design. There are available technologies now that would help in preventing energy from being wasted.
Good toilet seats
One of the major sources of stress of employees in the washroom are toilet seats. The seats can sometimes be soiled by users who try to squat above them. This problem can be addressed with the use of seats that are kept upright by springs.
Coat hooks and shelves
The placing of shelves inside the washroom can be a great convenience for the employees who use them frequently. The same thing can be said for hooks where bags, coats, and articles can be hung while inside the stall.
Finally, you’ll be able to boost the overall experience delivered by your washroom design by getting the managed washroom service from Alsco, a top name in the market, trusted by companies and businesses, worldwide.
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Improving the overall experience of the employees when using the bathroom should be a major factor in the design too.