When you’re fitting out or furbishing your work space and you’re deep in consultation with architects and designers, it may be the case that the bathroom gets the least consideration. Modern design layouts that encourage better communication and enhance productivity are very much in, from the boardroom to the classroom. But has a shift in design also now come to the bathroom?
Well, not in the same way. Although shared bathrooms between men and women were fashionable for a while, it hasn’t yet become the norm throughout Australia, nor the rest of the world. Indeed, it could be argued that there’s been a shift towards separate men and women’s bathrooms because of the attention brought to work or school bathrooms by the growing awareness of LGBTQ issues.
What has changed is that companies and schools are now more aware of how a good bathroom for their employees, guests or students has a lasting impact on the perception of the establishment.
This has long been understood in the restaurant business where poorly maintained toilets have a noticeable effect on the overall experience of customers. An interesting study conducted by Altodigital found that almost everyone surveyed (94%), would never go back to a restaurant if they had poor bathrooms. Interestingly, this same survey also found that only 10% of people would return their food if they found a problem with it, like a hair in their dish.
Establishments can very quickly claim that they are providing or aiming to provide the best facilities for the people who use their buildings. However, one step into a dingy, poorly maintained bathroom immediately dispels or at least undermines the notion that a company is serious about providing quality throughout its whole operation. A doubt develops in the mind of clients and employees when they walk from a grand lobby or reception which has been well-designed to a bathroom which suddenly does not quite match the rest of the building. At worst, it could suggest that the company is willing to pour money into making a good first impression but is less than meticulous in ensuring quality throughout.
In order to create a good bathroom for commercial or educational spaces, consideration must be given to the number of units, location and design of the bathroom. If there are not enough units to serve the footfall then regardless of how well the bathroom is maintained or designed, it’s not a good bathroom. If your bathrooms are located where they are not easy to get to, that will annoy users. If you do have the bathroom in the right places and with enough units, then you can think about the design and finishing.
Although it is difficult to gauge how much a bathroom contributes to your overall business, you’ll immediately feel the lift a good restroom can provide to employees or students. Whilst a wow factor is not always necessary, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Your employees or students will feel valued and take some measure of pride that their organisation is committed to providing quality for the benefit of their people.