Office bathrooms are often overlooked when looking at various communal areas in an office. No work gets done there, it’s just a bathroom. But a clean and well-designed bathroom is just as important as a well-designed meeting room or desk space. From soaps to coat hooks, colour themes to air fresheners, details of the office bathroom are crucial to get right.

Hygiene

Firstly; hygiene, probably what anyone is most concerned about. Having to use a dirty, smelly bathroom can be an unpleasant experience to say the least. If workers, and worse, clients have to use an unclean bathroom, it’s going to make anyone unhappy and filled with dread any time they have to make a visit. Your offices and meeting rooms may be top-of-the-range sparkling clean spaces, but if the loos are gross, it’s likely to turn people off, potentially costing clients and business. It doesn’t paint a very good picture of the company from anyone’s point of view, and having to hold your nose as you enter the bathroom isn’t ideal.

Many office buildings hire commercial cleaners, which is the best bet in keeping hygiene levels high. Investing in automatic air fresheners is an easy way to combat odour, and of course, soap levels should be kept an eye-on to ensure there’s always a supply for when people wash their hands. Dirty bathrooms and lack of soap is bound to cause all kinds of bugs and illnesses, which could leave to more employee absences due to sickness.

A fully functioning efficient hand dryer is also a good thing to add to hand-washing facilities, and the need to keep restocking paper towels is gone. However paper towels are said to be more hygienic and spread less germs, so whichever hand drying option you go for, ensure supplies and functionality is monitored.  Cost wise, the upfront cost of a hand drier will be more, and the advances in technology show the energy-efficiency rising, the driers use hardly any electricity, ending up being pretty cost effective, as opposed to the on-going cost of paper towels.

Loo roll cost you can’t really avoid, as it’s an essential in every bathroom. Keeping this fully stocked is obviously a huge essential, as there’s nothing more annoying than an empty cardboard tube with no backups.
Finally on the cleanliness front, floors are essential in being kept clean and dry. Any splash from taps or newly-mopped floors can cause a hazardous slippery area. Avoid any accidents by using hazard signs, or even shutting the area off when it’s being mopped or cleaned. A good way to avoid doing this all together is to mop the floor at the end of the work day, to allow it to dry overnight and keep everyone out of harm’s way.

Design


The design of an office bathroom is best to be kept modern, with tiled surfaces to add to ease of cleaning, creating a sleek appearance. Colour choices can be monochrome as standard, or bold and bright as a creative space of design.

Mirrors are a great way to give the illusion of a bigger space, and with good lighting, can be good for employees to check their appearance is still looking smart and office-appropriate, depending on dress-codes of course.  For the fancier of places, separate dressing table areas with stools are also a nice extra for those who have events or somewhere to be, straight from work.  Better still, showers are a useful facility to add as some travel to work by bicycle, or use a nearby or onsite gym in lunch breaks.

Hooks and shelves are also great extras to add to cubicle doors or partitions, to avoid putting coats or bags on the bathroom floor and are simply just very convenient. Less essential, but a nice touch, is hand creams or various lotions and potions for people to use after hand washing. They may not seem important, but the small things do make a big difference to the space, likely to make employees feel happy and catered for.

Finally, a huge importance for communal bathrooms is privacy. Well-working locks on cubicle doors, tall and to-the-floor partitions, and enough space for the size of the workforce using the bathrooms are basic but essential measures to take when designing.

Bathrooms in which people feel comfortable and happy are paramount in the workplace. And of course, spacious disabled access facilities are essential and should be maintained to just as high a standard as the standard cubicles, in terms of design and functionality.


Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry, with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.
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