Summary: Washroom etiquette plays an important role in creating a happier, safer, and cleaner working environment.
These practices are designed to show respect and reduce the level of bathroom contamination that may render you and your workmates ill.
Inconsiderate individuals can make the toilet a disgusting destination. A clean and hygienic washroom begins with proper bathroom etiquette from those who use it. So encourage fellow staffers to be respectful when utilizing this shared space.
For washroom etiquette solutions tailored to your business, contact ALSCO now.
What Poor Washroom Etiquette Can Do To Your Health
Poor etiquette may even set off a chain reaction wherein others don’t try as hard to keep the washroom clean. This can present a health risk to the entire workplace. A dirty bathroom becomes a breeding ground for germs that spread illness.
- Gastrointestinal viruses. These harmful germs can explore your toilet seat and remain on the surface for as much as a week. They can cause stomach ailments that are easily transmitted.
- Enteric pathogens. These are organisms can spread by contaminated foods or through the oral-faecal route. E. coli and salmonella fall under this category, which causes severe diarrhoea and bloody stools.
- Skin organisms. The bathroom is an ideal environment for the spread of staphylococcus aureus via hands, damp surfaces, towels, and face cloths. It can cause a range of illnesses including skin infections.
- Respiratory viruses. Cold and flu viruses also love damp areas like the bathroom. They can be easily spread through coughing, sneezing and nose blowing by an infected person.
- Residual fungi. Airborne fungi which enter the bathroom can colonise moist surfaces. It can release spores or substances which trigger or aggravate respiratory allergies such as asthma.
The spread of these pathogens can be prevented with good washroom etiquette and hygiene practices, which is of most importance at crowded workplaces such as schools or restaurants.
Send a positive message to workmates and help ensure their working environment is kept hygienically clean too. Our School Washroom Guide gives you all the necessary guidelines on how to do it if you work in a school, for example.
Greenroom’s Tips On Bathroom Etiquette In The Workplace
Are you aware of the do’s and don’ts associated with workplace bathrooms? Remember, you are not the only person using the restroom in the office. So we have listed helpful tips to help you ace good bathroom etiquette.
1. Always wash your hands
Hand washing is an essential part of proper workplace bathroom etiquette. This simple act can prevent millions of germs from spreading. It’s an easy, inexpensive, and effective way to keep employees healthy.
A 2008 SCA Hygiene Report, which involved over 4,800 participants in 9 countries, revealed that the biggest concern over hygiene was firmly set around toilets and bathroom etiquette. Around 47% were concerned about insufficient hand hygiene in connection with toilet visits.
2. Clean the spaces as you go
Imagine visiting the bathroom only to come face to face with a mess. No one wants to be greeted with an unflushed bowl, a toilet seat used for target practice, or floor used as an open landfill site. Always clean as you go.
After flushing the bowl, it would help to wipe down the seat with a little toilet paper from the dispenser next to you. If you drop some paper on the floor, pick it up. It’s a simple as that. This etiquette shows respect to your co-workers.
3. Do not conduct business transactions
Bathroom chitchat should be kept to a minimum. No more than the occasional ‘hey’ should be exchanged in most situations. Save the ‘nice to meet you’s’ after you exit the bathroom door. Be sure to wash your hands.
The workplace bathroom exists for specific purposes. It would be inappropriate to conduct business deals in a space made for evacuations. Those involved will only feel uncomfortable and worst, the deal will be lost completely.
4. Doing the courtesy flush
Courtesy flush refers to a ‘flush’ administered midway through the toilet-sitting process. The purpose is to remove bad odour as quickly as possible. If you let the smell linger, it can make the trip to the toilet extremely unpleasant for your co-workers.
There are some issues against courtesy flushing in terms of eco-friendly principles. As much as 22.7 litres of water is used with every flush, according to EPA. However, modern toilet models now use lesser with just 6.1 gallons.
5. Don’t hang around
This unwritten rule may seem strange but to hang around and wait for your turn may trigger a ‘shy bladder’. In fact, it is now a recognised medical condition known as paruresis wherein the sufferer is unable to urinate in the presence of others.
No one likes to feel rushed, so when it comes to performing either on the throne or at the urinal. Your co-worker may feel slightly embarrassed, but more than likely annoyed. Give them sufficient space by waiting at your desk or workstation.
6. Flush with the lid down
Did you know that bacteria is sprayed around 25 centimetres above the toilet bowl with each flush? This was revealed by a study from Leeds General Infirmary. It was also found that the presence of the bacteria was 12 times greater in open bowls.
Apparently, flushing with the lid up ‘aerosolizes’ bacteria that can spread disease like the diarrhoea-causing Clostridium difficile. This can be found abundantly in workplace bathrooms.
7. No executive privilege
Even if you hold a high position in the company, you are not entitled to skip any aspect of hygienic bathroom etiquette. Do not expect lower ranked employees to give way to you. People from all walks of life share the same ‘washroom needs’ after all.
You are also not exempted when it comes to flushing the lavatory seat down, as well as washing and drying your hands adequately. Do the same rule in terms of conducting business transactions inside the washroom.
8. Do not release resentments
There is no executive privilege in the workplace bathroom, but if your boss expects you to stand aside, then just do so. There are more diplomatic ways to get the etiquette message across to them.
If your boss tries to strike up a conversation, do not ignore him. Instead, make your answer short and shrift. If you have a company suggestion box, why not suggest to have bathroom etiquette posters displayed inside?
Alsco’s Hygiene and Washroom Services
Alsco’s dedicated team will help keep your business clean, organised and professional. Their trusted services include affordable washroom and hand hygiene solutions and eco-friendly options for the workplace.
Through Alsco’s own workplace hygiene branch, Fresh & Clean, our clients can successfully enhance the degree of workplace bathroom hygiene significantly. Services and products provided include feminine hygiene, odour control, soap dispensers, and hand-drying systems.
Now is the time to promote good washroom etiquette in the workplace! Get in touch with us for hassle-free solutions.
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