You spend eight-plus hours at work every day, so you can assume that nature will call at least once during your day. Besides your desk, the office bathroom is where you might spend the most time during the workday.
Since you spend so much of your day there, the office bathroom should be a comfortable, approachable place. Make sure you are following these basic workplace bathroom etiquette rules to keep the experience pleasant for all your co-workers.
Don’t Talk on Your Cell Phone
Nothing is more awkward than when you hear the toilet flush when you are on the phone with someone. Not only is this rude to other people in the bathroom — it’s also disrespectful to the person you are talking to. Your bodily functions are private, so please keep them that way.
Wash Your Hands … Every Time!
There should never be any excuse for not washing your hands after using the bathroom. This is a hard and fast rule, especially in the business world, where you could be shaking many hands during the day. In addition, you are spreading germs throughout the office. Since you share this space with your coworkers, do everyone a favor and wash your hands.
The Urinal Is Not Chat Time
It doesn’t matter how close you think you are to the person or how important the conversation is, you can wait until you are out of the bathroom to talk about it. Besides the fact that you are both exposed while at the urinal, most people aren’t comfortable having a conversation while urinating. Keep the office gossip confined to the water cooler.
Make Sure the Toilet Paper Is Stocked
No one wants to be stuck on the toilet and realize there is no toilet paper. If you use the last of the toilet paper, it’s up to you to make sure it’s either replaced or that other bathroom users are aware of the lack of toilet paper. If you personally can’t replace the toilet paper, contact the office manager (or whoever is in charge of restocking) to alert them of the situation.
This Is Not Your Personal Bathroom
There is no reason to do your grooming routine at work when you can do it at home. The work bathroom is never the place to shave or cut your toenails. And it goes without saying that you should not be bringing reading materials into the work bathroom for an extended stay, especially if stalls are scarce.
Keep It Clean and Fresh
Treat the bathroom as if it were your bathroom at home. Keep it clean and fresh for the others who use it. If you create an odor, be courteous enough to spray air freshener for the people who will be using it after you. If you splash water all over the sink, clean it up. If you drop toilet paper on the floor, pick it up.
Using a communal bathroom can be a difficult experience if people don’t know how to share properly. Keep these tips in mind when using your workplace bathroom and hopefully you will save your coworkers from bathroom-related anxiety.