Everyone can agree that workplace bathroom etiquettes are something of a grey area, as not everyone is always on the same page. Everyone has had a complaint about it, but not everyone says something about it. So from hygiene to the way you conduct yourself, we’re breaking down the basics of bathroom etiquette to follow at work.
Basics of washroom manners
Keep business out
It’s called a bathroom break for a reason, so avoid chatting about work while in the bathroom. Keep conversation to a minimum, with a slight nod or a short greeting. Keep the business out of the place you do your business.
Patience is polite
We’ve all been in that situation – when you really need to go, but all the stalls or urinals are occupied. We’re all trying our best to be quick with answering nature’s call, but knocking on a door incessantly won’t help anyone finish faster. Instead, knock just once, and more often than not, the person inside will sense your urgency and call out to you that they’ll be just a minute. If that doesn’t work, then try to find another bathroom on a different floor.
But don’t test people’s patience
Washroom etiquette entails that you be quick with conducting your business. Try to be in and out quickly, so as to not keep anyone else waiting unnecessarily. And though we all love scrolling mindlessly to pass the time on the porcelain throne, it’s advised that you leave it at your desk to avoid getting sucked into the virtual vortex in the first place.
Respect people’s privacy
A bathroom is the most private space you let yourself be vulnerable in daily. No one expects that they’ll have someone peep in on them from over or under the bathroom stall’s door. Simply knocking or calling out to the person inside is sufficient if you need to get a message across. This also applies in the men’s bathroom at the urinals – the unspoken rule is to look at the wall in front of you and refrain from taking a peek at anyone else around you.
Maintain a gap
With that being said about respecting people’s privacy, you should also respect people’s space. If the urinals or cubicles are mostly empty, and you find just one other person in the loo, good restroom etiquette would be to maintain a gap of one or two stalls from the other person. Having a shy bladder is a very real thing, and people will always appreciate your consideration.
Keep gossip out of the bathroom
In any office, there are bound to be moments or people that you may want to discuss casually with a friend. But keeping these conversations out of the restrooms is a better idea because it saves two parties from potential embarrassment and hurt in case the person who the gossip is about is in one of the cubicles. Even if the person being discussed isn’t there personally, another fellow colleague probably shouldn’t be privy to your personal thoughts and feelings.
Sanitation and safety
While it’s a given that some office washroom etiquettes can include throwing an awkward thin-lipped smile at someone else as you wait for a stall to clear, it should be just as much of an unwritten rule that people clean up after themselves properly and with consideration for the next person who will be using the bathroom facilities.
It can be a queasy experience to walk into a bathroom stall and discover that the previous user didn’t flush. So don’t be that person – always flush after using the toilet, and flush twice if you really need to. It’s true that you may be unlucky enough to encounter some common plumbing problems, which is why the flush doesn’t function properly. But in such a case, alert the cleaning staff immediately, and try to stick a note on the door to alert others that the cubicle in question is under maintenance.
Wipe wet surfaces
Whether it’s water on the toilet seat or water on the bathroom counter, wipe down any surfaces that you’ve left wet. Wet surfaces can become a breeding ground for germs and can result in infections being spread across the office. And if you find that the floors have puddles in some corners, inform the cleaning staff so they can have it mopped up to avoid any potential bathroom accidents.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands is basic office washroom etiquette, because when you touch contaminated surfaces like the toilet seat, flush, and even the door handles, you come into contact with bacteria that could cause infection and disease. And as you interact with others through the day, you would effectively spread the same germs to others. Wash your hands after using the loo with soap to lower risks of infection around the office.
Showing respect and consideration in terms of both manners and hygiene matter in a workplace bathroom as following these rules can help improve the workplace atmosphere. If you’re looking to set up your new office space and need a consultation for your bathroom’s design and fittings, then visit Jaquar today.