Appropriate Etiquette in Workplace or Public Bathroom

Published: 21st February 2012
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In office blocks all over the world there is an unspoken code of conduct found with the toilets which must be adhered to. Anyone who will need to regularly share a public bathroom in the workplace should also think about certain rules they should keep to, bathroom etiquette is one of those unspoken things between staff however, it can be a real issue in some places when there is no code of conduct to follow. Most of the larger UK employers will have such a document believe it or not, just to ensure these rules are read by staff.
Here are some very basic and possibly obvious guidelines for anyone using a public space bathroom:

The biggest complaint in terms of toilet use is someone taking an awful long time, especially as there are usually a few bathroom stalls and many staff and a small amount of lunch break! Some office blocks have only one or two toilets per floor so taking a long time can really cause an issue. It is not your personal bathroom, so do not take it for granted that things are the same, no cutting toe nails, picking spots and plucking hairs in public, it just isn’t fair to other toilet users.

Always, yes always knock if you are not 100% sure someone isn’t already using the toilet room or stall. Sometimes latches are not well maintained or people just forget in haste but either way, knocking allows someone the time to say they are in their rather than you seeing something you’d rather not.

This is maybe one that follows the first rule about time in the toilet with a but! No pun intended! If the toilet is used and left un-flushed or in a awful looking state people will complain. So if the choice is between taking another minute to ensure the toilet is in an appropriately clean state people would thank you for this! As you leave you can say, it wouldn’t flush to excuse your time keeping to the next toilet user, however left un-flushed, there is no excuse for, ever.

Talking in a public bathroom can appeal to some people, having a chat or even gossiping but this is not always the best place for idle chit-chat. It considered bad form to gossip in such an obvious place, but it can majorly back fire if the wrong person is sharing the space with you. Even mobile phones are really inappropriate in the public bathroom at work, no one wants to hear your conversation whilst they are using the toilet, it can be simply off-putting and is a bit rude.

Hygiene is about using items within their purpose and using them with care, leaving soapy mess, puddles in stalls, on the toilet seat or around the sink is just dirty behaviour. Giving the area a little wipe over before you leave is much better than leaving it for everyone else to look at. Maybe your office has a cleaner but that does not mean you’re not responsible for the mess you make.
Most people also complain about smell. This is area where yes, leaving a foul smell is rude but inevitable it is a toilet in use.

Spraying an alternative smell might seem like a straight-forward solution however other might be allergic to certain sprays and in some not very well ventilated toilets actually add to the distress of others. The leave in neutralisers blocks work just as well as any spray without causing someone an asthma attack.

Public bathrooms in the workplace can be pleasant and clean but everyone who uses them must be part of this moral code to keep things as clean and hygienic as possible.

Jennifer works as a freelance writer for a number of firms. For more information on washroom services Nottingham and other aspects relating to this article such as clinical waste disposal then please visit City Healthcare.


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