Bathroom Etiquette At Work

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

Ask any worker about office bathroom etiquette, and you’ll hear dozens of horror stories, complaints and secret bowel-relieving strategies. There’s something about the intersection of the professional and the private that gets people worked up. Says Coolidge: “Yes, I work in PR – but also have extremely strong feelings about bathroom etiquette.”
bathroom etiquette at work 1

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

Good workplace bathroom etiquette is not just about politeness and respect, like saying good morning and keeping a door open to allow someone in or out. These help, of course, but etiquette in this case relates to a very specific situation that does not occur anywhere else.
bathroom etiquette at work 2

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

Remember, there are much more diplomatic ways to get the etiquette message across to them. A good one is to have workplace bathroom etiquette posters clearly displayed inside that your boss cannot fail to note. As for any dislike of your job provider? Leave it for the gym, where you can run your frustrations off without the boss knowing!
bathroom etiquette at work 3

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

The same goes for business talk. “Leave the business out of the bathroom,” says Michael Sykes, president of the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette, which is a side project (he’s a full-time scientist). He says that managers and bosses tend to be the worst offenders. “You’re in an awkward position. You don’t want to tell them to shut up and leave you alone,” he says.
bathroom etiquette at work 4

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

All the experts agree that proper workplace bathroom etiquette can play a significant role in improving the workplace atmosphere, relationships between workmates and in lowering the risk of infections. After all, the bathroom is one of the most germ-infested places in any building.
bathroom etiquette at work 5

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

In that light, you have no grounds to expect lower ranked employees to give way to you, nor that you are entitled to skip any aspect of hygienic bathroom etiquette. So, make sure to flush with the lavatory seat down, wash your hands adequately (and dry them!), and don’t seek to do any business other than what the bathroom is there for.
bathroom etiquette at work 6

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

Admittedly, there was once a time when no-one would bat an eyelid if they noticed a person not washing their hands, but those days are long gone. The vast majority of people consider it as essential as closing the cubicle door, and as such has become an essential part of proper workplace bathroom etiquette.
bathroom etiquette at work 7

Bathroom Etiquette At Work

In fact, according to a 2008 SCA Hygiene Report, which involved over 4,800 participants in 9 countries – France, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Russia, China, Australia, the US and Mexico – the biggest concern over hygiene was firmly set around toilets and bathroom etiquette. Some 47% of people confirmed they were worried about insufficient hand hygiene in connection with toilet visits.
bathroom etiquette at work 8

Probably one of the least considered options in respect of workplace bathroom etiquette is what’s known as the ‘courtesy flush’. For those not au fait with the term, it’s when a flush is administered midway through an, erm… term on the throne.
bathroom etiquette at work 9

There is an unwritten rule to bathroom etiquette that suggests you should never hang around waiting for your turn. It might seem strange, but it is loosely associated with the age-old condition, commonly referred to as ‘stage fright’ or ‘shy bladder’, now a recognised medical condition known asparuresis – check out the Paruresis Association of Australia.
bathroom etiquette at work 10

Even if you are the owner of the business, are a multi-billionaire, and have a few thousand people working under you, the idea of executive privilege holds no water in workplace bathroom etiquette. Well, let’s face it, there are few places more supportive of the principles of equality of all than bathrooms where billionaire and janitor share the same, erm… shall we say, ‘human experiences’.
bathroom etiquette at work 11

Leave your phone. “One of the things that comes across as unseemly is when you take your phone to the restroom,” says Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and owner of The Protocol School of Texas. Making business calls on the toilet isn’t just awkward, it could out you as unprofessional when someone (maybe Coolidge) deliberately triple-flushes the toilet during your call.
bathroom etiquette at work 12

When it comes to bad bathroom behavior, Matt Coolidge, a public relations professional, has seen his share. Coolidge says that he regularly steps into his office’s restroom around 5 p.m. to hear another gentleman conducting conference calls from a bathroom stall. “I started to make a habit of flushing the urinals more than once, lest there be any doubt that, yes, this clown is regularly taking conference calls from the bathroom,” Coolidge tells U.S. News via email.
bathroom etiquette at work 13

Find a secret bathroom. Everyone poops, and you won’t lose your job or get a demotion for having an upset stomach one day. The No. 1 tip about going No. 2 is to be courteous to others sharing the facility, but if you’re especially bathroom-shy, try finding a less-trafficked facility. Some workers venture to other floors to scout out lower volume restrooms. Others find hotels or nearby stores. Some prefer the anonymous crowd at their local coffee shop to seeing their co-workers at the urinal.
bathroom etiquette at work 14

You might not always get to use the bathroom as quickly as you’d like, so be courteous while you wait your turn. Knock when appropriate and don’t dawdle if others are waiting. Don’t push a stall door open to see if it’s empty. Instead, give a quick glance under the door to look for feet. Certain people like a quiet setting when in the bathroom, so keep chatter to a minimum and at a low volume.
bathroom etiquette at work 15

Manners You might not always get to use the bathroom as quickly as you’d like, so be courteous while you wait your turn. Knock when appropriate and don’t dawdle if others are waiting. Don’t push a stall door open to see if it’s empty. Instead, give a quick glance under the door to look for feet. Certain people like a quiet setting when in the bathroom, so keep chatter to a minimum and at a low volume.
bathroom etiquette at work 16

So, it’s best to give them sufficient space by simply going back to your desk or workstation and then return to the bathroom after a few minutes. Alternatively, you should go to another bathroom on another floor (if possible).
bathroom etiquette at work 17

She says: This must be a guy thing, because I have yet to hear about a business opportunity other than happy hour mentioned in the bathroom. But, I second the motion to save your “Nice to meet you’s” for after you exit the bathroom door.
bathroom etiquette at work 18

Gross? Absolutely. But skipping this important step of bathroom hygiene can also stain – pun intended – your professional reputation. Your co-workers might wonder if that sloppiness infiltrates your work, Gottsman says. “If they forego that one detail, which is a courtesy, you have to wonder what else they let fly,” she says. And you don’t want to be known as That-Guy-Who-Doesn’t-Wash-His-Hands – or something worse – around the office.
bathroom etiquette at work 19

To keep the office bathroom a pleasant place, employees must notify the cleaning crew or management when fixtures malfunction. You might lose a few minutes of work time, but ensuring that someone in authority knows about a broken toilet or sink can prevent accidents and save water. Leave a note warning others of a broken toilet. Let the cleaning crew know when soap, toilet paper and paper towels need replenishing.
bathroom etiquette at work 20

Maintenance To keep the office bathroom a pleasant place, employees must notify the cleaning crew or management when fixtures malfunction. You might lose a few minutes of work time, but ensuring that someone in authority knows about a broken toilet or sink can prevent accidents and save water. Leave a note warning others of a broken toilet. Let the cleaning crew know when soap, toilet paper and paper towels need replenishing.
bathroom etiquette at work 21

Playing games on your phone is also awkward, says Russ LaBarca, an engineer in Pennsylvania. He recalls once walking into the bathroom after the automatic lights timed out and noticing, in the split second before the lights came back on, a suspicious cell phone-esque glow emanating from a stall. “I got in and out as quickly as I could,” he says in an email. “At least I gave him a reset on the light timer in case he wasn’t quite done with those Angry Birds.”
bathroom etiquette at work 22

No handshakes. A wet, clammy handshake is unpleasant, even in the best scenarios. It’s even worse when the participant has to question whether it’s water – or something else – glistening on their partner’s palm. When it comes to greeting a co-worker, client or your boss in the bathroom, keep your hands to yourself. A friendly hello will suffice, Gottsman says.
bathroom etiquette at work 23

Keep chatter to a minimum. Mike Cisneros, an office worker, recalls walking into the bathroom to hear someone cry out “Oh, yeah” from one of the stalls. “My goal then became: Finish as fast as possible and get out before I would have to make eye contact with this monster, which I was able to do,” says Cisneros, who dubs the whole awkward situation “The Incident.”
bathroom etiquette at work 24

Don’t play the waiting game. There’s a moment in a Saturday Night Live sketch where Kate McKinnon, waiting patiently in a bathroom stall, finally loses it with a co-worker. “Excuse me, I can’t poop while you’re in here, and I know you’re just doing your hair, so I’m going to need you to get the f–k out,” she shouts.