10 Bathroom Blunders To Avoid In Your Workplace

Many companies overlook the importance of a well-designed and well-maintained workplace bathroom. The quality of your workplace’s bathroom is a reflection of how much you value the basic needs of your employees (as well as any customers or visitors that may use it). If it’s uncomfortable or uninviting, it could negatively affect employee morale and it won’t create great impressions for your customers.

Just what are the things that companies get wrong about workplace bathrooms? This post lists 10 of the most common mistakes.

Poor cleanliness

Nobody wants to use a dirty bathroom. And yet many workplaces don’t have a bathroom cleaning schedule in place. There are three ways in which you can keep on top of bathroom cleaning:

  • Hire a janitor to handle cleaning duties around your workplace. This is generally only suitable for large business workplaces that can afford to hire a janitor. 
  • Outsource an office cleaning service to regularly clean your office (including the bathrooms). This is more affordable than hiring a janitor and ensures that cleaning is regularly done.
  • Share the duty among you and your employees. In workplaces that have regularly used customer bathrooms – such as restaurants and cafes – it is common for regular bathroom checks to be made by staff members and cleaning to be carried out if necessary. 

Putting off repairs

Does your bathroom contain taps that don’t work or doors with broken locks? Has one of your toilets been ‘out of order’ for weeks? While bathroom repairs may not be top of your priority list, they are something that shouldn’t be put off for long periods. Employees and customers will soon get frustrated, so try to schedule repairs as soon as you notice them. Making sure that there is at least one working toilet with a working lock is a legal requirement.

Confusing signage

Some workplaces like to take a unique spin on ‘men’ and ‘women’ toilet signs. There are times when this can be a fun way of strengthening your brand – such as placing ‘Madame’ and ‘Monsieur’ signs on the bathrooms doors in a French restaurant. However, there are other times when it can get confusing for some people such as using ‘XX’ and ‘XY’ or using abstract symbols. To avoid people walking into the wrong bathroom, try to keep labelling relatively simple.

Inefficient lighting

Your bathroom needs to be well-lit so that people can actually use the toilet. At the same time, you don’t want to be using huge amounts of energy lighting up a bathroom if it’s only used seldomly throughout the day. Optimally placed motion-sensing lighting is favored in many commercial bathrooms – it only turns on when people are using the bathroom helping to provide light while conserving power. You can explore motion sensing lighting options online. 

Wasting water

You may want to think twice before installing a faucet with a lever in your workplace bathroom. Such taps can easily be left running if someone doesn’t turn the lever off – resulting in a high water bill for you. Push taps and touch-free taps are a more popular option because they spray water for only a few seconds. This means that they cannot be left running.

No mirrors

Mirrors should be an essential feature in bathrooms. They are particularly important in workplaces where workers may need to look presentable at all times – a mirror can allow employees to check their appearance as they use the bathroom. In restaurants and bars, customer bathrooms should similarly always have mirrors as many customers will be trying to impress friends or potential partners. The best place to put mirrors is above the sink. However, some bathrooms add floor length mirrors so that people can check out their entire reflection. 

Not stocking up on toilet paper/hand soap

Running out of toilet paper is distressing enough in your own home, but it could truly be a disaster at work. Make sure that you regularly stock up on toilet paper and keep spare rolls of toilet paper in your bathrooms at all times. Janitors or outsourced cleaners will usually be able to keep on top of this for you, but you could also get employees to do regular checks. Make sure that hand soap is similarly topped up regularly in hand soap dispensers. 

Lack of inclusivity

Something that could have you potentially facing a lawsuit is a lack of accessible bathroom facilities for disabled people. Your workplace either needs to have a designated disabled bathroom or its existing bathrooms need to be made ADA-compliant. Otherwise, you’re essentially saying that disabled people cannot work at your workplace – which is discrimination. Some ADA requirements to consider include:

  • A certain amount of clear floor space for wheelchair users
  • A sink located at a height that is accessible for wheelchair users
  • A toilet that is a minimum of 60 inches wide
  • Grab bars beside the toilet

It’s important that your bathrooms are also inclusive to all genders. Women’s bathrooms must have sanitary bins, while men’s bathrooms should have at least one urinal. Gender-neutral bathrooms are becoming more common as to cater to those who may not identify as male or female. 

Lack of sanitary products

While there’s no law requiring it, it is a good idea to stock up women’s restrooms with female sanitary products like pads or tampons. This ensures that female employees or customers have access to these products when they need them if they haven’t already brought them with them. These should ideally be free rather than being accessible via a vending machine. A workplace that does not provide these may be seen as less accommodating to women’s needs. 

Poor ventilation

Finally, your workplace bathroom needs to have good ventilation. Poor ventilation can make a bathroom smelly or may lead to mold growth. Beyond providing windows that can be opened, consider installing an extractor fan to help with the circulation of air. If your bathroom contains multiple completely closed-off cubicles (no gap beneath or above the door), these will each need extractor fans installed. Extractor fans could be constantly running or could be triggered to come on with the lights. 



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