Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have recognised the importance of maintaining a good level of hygiene not only in their washrooms, but companywide as well.
As businesses embrace the hybrid working model, employees are quick to voice their concerns regarding cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace, in some cases using this as a gauge of how highly their organisation values employee wellbeing.
For one thing, hygienic and well-maintained commercial washrooms play an important part in minimising the spread of infectious germs, which is now a more prominent concern than ever before. More generally, though, the condition of the staff washrooms may be regarded as an indicator of how committed your company is to the comfort, privacy, wellbeing, and employee engagement.
Compare an organisation’s customer/visitor toilets with those used by staff, is there a marked difference in capacity, fixtures, décor, condition, or design? And if so, what does that say about the organisation’s priorities?
Staff certainly aren’t oblivious to any such inequalities, and in turn, this could have a direct impact on productivity, wellbeing and employee engagement. However, when teams feel that employers are genuinely investing in their welfare, productivity and morale often improve.
In short, maintaining high standards in staff washrooms makes sense from the perspectives of both safety and productivity. Keep reading to discover how you can improve your employees’ washroom experience.
How Washrooms Affect Employees’ Well-being
A typical worker may visit the washroom three or four times on any given day, and each visit will cement an opinion in that employees’ mind of their washroom experience.
Realistically, there’s no reason why your company washroom shouldn’t echo the hygiene conditions that your staff expect to find at home. Although a poorly maintained washroom may not be the ultimate reason for employees leaving a job, it can contribute to workplace tension which will have a negative effect on productivity, profit and overall employee well-being.
So What Do Employees Want from Commercial Washrooms?
Employees expect clean, functional washrooms; nothing much more demanding than that. They want adequate space, for reasons of social distancing and privacy. In other words, they want to feel safe and comfortable.
As sustainability issues rise higher in our minds, staff may also appreciate any visible efforts made to minimise waste – whether that be saving water, utilising energy efficient hand dryers or being more mindful of materials such as recycled paper towels.
The Benefits of Creating a Positive Washroom Experience
Investing in employee wellbeing is a sure-fire way to encourage a happy, motivated workforce. Staff who feel more valued and respected will tend to be more productive and more loyal, all of which can help to drive improvements to the bottom line of your business as well as improving the overall wellbeing of the company. This may be especially true of multi-faith facilities, where workers may have different cultural expectations of the washroom and the facilities it contains, employers who make the effort to get it right will certainly be appreciated.
Visitors and Customers
Many of the same principles apply to the client facing washroom experience too, they stand as a visible sign of brand values and in many hospitality and retail venues they may make the difference between someone being a one-off visitor or becoming a regular, brand loving, loyal customer.
Whether they’re intended for staff or customers, it’s important that your washrooms are accessible to everyone, including people with conditions such as restricted mobility or sensory impairments. Employers must ensure that their washrooms can deliver on everything that’s promised in their Equality and Diversity policies, so thought needs to be given not only to the design of the facilities but also their function.
Four Ways to Improve Your Washroom Experience
Upgrade your Washroom Solutions
In a washroom, first impressions can easily be shattered by a broken lock or an empty dispenser, regular inspections are an essential part of the solution, in addition to the choice of washroom equipment that will tolerate all the knocks and scrapes of everyday use.
Dispensers should be large enough to cope with expected footfall without running empty and without putting a burden on cleaning and maintenance staff. Moreover, in an era in which people have become more switched on to the risks of contaminated surfaces, washroom users may appreciate Touch Free Soap Dispensers to help minimise the spread of germs.
The same principles apply to paper towel dispensers and toilet paper dispensers. Capacity, ease of use and physical robustness are all important factors, and it’s important to match size to expected use.
The Power of Smell
Our sense of smell lasts a lot longer in our memory than a sight does. Ensure that your washroom smells pleasant at all times by combating odours with air fresheners, good ventilation and of course, regular cleaning are just a few of the simple steps you can take to improve the overall washroom experience.
Display Signage for Guidance & Support
As a result of the pandemic, signage in the workplace can sometimes become a little overwhelming. Employees are constantly reminded to maintain social distance, to wear face mask signs, to sanitise hands and to follow one-way systems around rooms. These are all important reminders, but people can quickly become blind to the familiar, so it’s important to keep refreshing your notices to make sure that they’re grabbing attention. Sometimes, a change of colour, size or positioning may be all that’s needed to make sure your employees are taking notice.
Don’t Forget the Little Extras
Attention to detail matters when it comes to creating a user-friendly washroom, certain ‘extras’ – such as coat hooks on cubicle doors – are actually a requirement under legislation. Despite this, and the fact that they’re genuinely very useful, they’re often neglected. Other measures are simple common sense, adequate lighting for example makes a considerable difference to a room and potentially to user safety as well.
By making use of light and pale colours, rooms can become easier to navigate for people with restricted vision, while also making the space seem bigger.
Other touches are more personal and aesthetic, such as placing fresh flowers in the washroom. A more extreme and longer lasting approach might be to specify branded washroom equipment or colour-matched dispensers – items that act as a recurring reminder of the corporate identity.
All of these measures can help to reinforce the sense that corporate pride and the worker experience really matter.
Create a Positive Washroom Experience with Dudley Industries Range of Washroom Accessories
With over 70 years’ experience in the industry, Dudley Industries offer an extensive range of washroom accessories that can help to improve the washroom experience for employees, staff and visitors and in turn encourage a positive well-being among users.
Browse Dudley Industries range of washroom accessories to improve the washroom experience in your facility today! Or get in contact with our friendly, expert design team for advice on room layouts, equipment, and specifications.