Employees expect both comfort and discretion when using the bathroom at work. The do’s and don’ts of bathroom etiquette is often a taboo subject (until after work drinks or the Christmas party) that can cause embarrassment when spoken about. To avoid any awkward confrontations, management often have the correct etiquette on display in bathrooms or on the back of toilet doors. Even without these prompts, there are a few ‘rules’ that should be a given and employees should follow as a courtesy to their colleagues.
To keep your workplace bathroom clean and sterile here is some basic bathroom etiquette to follow:
The spread of colds, viruses and the flu is rife in the workplace. Good hand hygiene is one way to help prevent the spread of germs from one employee to another. Ensure you use the soap provided (or if there is none advise management to have supplies refilled) and wash your hands thoroughly. Don’t forget to wash your wrists and between your fingers and thumbs too. It should take at least 10 seconds to wash your hands correctly.
While we are all for saving water, flushing the toilet is not negotiable. Most toilet systems have the option of a half or full flush, so choose which flush is required and check to ensure all waste has disappeared. Ensure the toilet seat is clean and if necessary give it a wipe too. This will ensure the well-being of the next employee to use the facilities after you.
If you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go! When using the workplace toilet to do a number 2, use the spray provided. If your bathroom toilet doesn’t have a pretty smelling spray, ask management to provide some for the comfort of all employees. While it may seem an uncomfortable discussion to have, it won’t be as bad as the unpleasant odour that can be left lingering.
If you pull out a piece of paper towel, but more than what you need is dispensed, leave the extra neatly next to the dispenser for the next person to use. While the bathroom isn’t the normal place to hone your basket ball skills, if you decide to practice your shooting when putting paper towel in the bin and you miss, pick it up and dispose of it correctly. Toilet roll etiquette is also a given, if you empty the roll, replace it and put the empty roll in the bin. If the bin is overflowing, advise management so it can be emptied accordingly.
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