The office bathroom, that lovely shared space offering limited privacy and awkward coworker conversations. It’s a place you visit several times each business day but, have you ever considered whether your habits are deemed as proper etiquette? Could coworkers be gossiping about your bathroom habits unbeknownst to you?
It’s a horrifying thought, but many employees (and employers) don’t know the first thing about proper office bathroom etiquette, spreading germs and awkward encounters with each visit. Read the following etiquette tips and discover whether bad habits are occurring in your office bathroom.
Avoid Reading Materials
Although you may love a good magazine while relaxing on your household toilet, the office bathroom is no place for such leisurely reading. Worse than bringing personal reading materials into the office bathroom is taking the daily break-room newspaper along while tending to bathroom business only to return the newspaper to the break-room when finished. Yes, as unbelievable as it may seem, some employees commonly take the communal newspaper into the bathroom, which is simply unacceptable office etiquette.
Limit the Chatter
While you may view the office bathroom as a perfectly acceptable place to talk with coworkers, others may not feel the same. Some people need silence in the bathroom and feel awkward when conserving in that setting. If you’re regularly shouting over flushing toilets or running sink water, shut your mouth and continue the conversation in a more acceptable location.
In addition to avoiding conversations with coworkers in the bathroom, leave your cellphone at your desk. Using a cellphone in the bathroom is rude to coworkers and to theperson you’ve called. While you’re using the phone in the next stall, a coworker will be left wondering whether they should flush now, wait until your phone call is over or leave without flushing. It’s an awkward situation and is bad etiquette.
While cleaning duty may not be in your job description, it’s common courtesy to restock the bathroom items you’ve emptied. From finishing a toilet paper roll to emptying the paper towel dispenser, replace what you use. These tasks require minimal effort and will offer a more pleasant experience for the next employee. If you absolutely can’t bring yourself to replace emptied containers, promptly notify the cleaning staff of what needs to be done.
Use a Little Courtesy
Without getting into the gory details, everyone knows the un-pleasantries left behind in office bathrooms after hearty lunches. If the stalls in your office bathroom are stocked with air fresheners, use them. This is a courtesy you likely want others to use and, therefore, is an action you should also take. Also, when needed, give a courtesy flush. Enough said.
A little etiquette goes a long way in the office bathroom. From leaving reading materials at your desk to avoiding long conversations, keep your bathroom habits in check to avoid being the center of office ridicule.