Do you ever wonder why corporate bathrooms can seem so standardized and unpleasant? Unlike the extensively designed and well-kept restaurant and hotel restrooms, the movement has not seemed to extend to corporate restrooms. When it comes to corporate offices, more times than not, employees leave these bathrooms feeling uncomfortable and violated by the lack of privacy and dingy appearance. The reason for this is simple; in many cases it is the landlord’s duty to maintain a company’s restrooms and not the tenant’s.
At the end of the day, whose responsibility is it to take care of issues in corporate restrooms?
This is where standardization comes into play. To the landlord’s advantage, it is more cost effective to standardize corporate restrooms. It costs less for upkeep as well as the building of the facilities since standardization provides more routine inspection, purchasing and handling measures. The simple designs also allow easier options for cleaning. The market for corporate fixtures is so standardized that the largest American company that sells these fixtures is name “American Standard”.
In this case, is standardization detrimental to professional work environments or is it beneficial in the end?
Of course the disadvantages of standardization is most directly felt by the employees of the corporation since most of these facilities are purely functional, and do not go above and beyond whatsoever. The standardization does not cater to privacy in these professional environments. Anyone who has used a public restroom can attest to the embarrassment of forced intimacy on a sour stomach. “Not only is your dignity at stake when you visit the toilet in view or earshot of work colleagues, but there can also be a paranoid sense that your visits are being monitored,” states Nick Haslam, who analyses the anxiety that people encounter when using public facilities in his book, Psychology in the Bathroom. It comes at no surprise that the standardization of corporate restrooms have become in many ways resistant to improvements due to many landlord’s wishes to cut costs.
Do you believe there is a real issue at hand or are a few employees simply asking for too much from their corporations?
The worst part about landlords’ decisions to choose the most cost effective approach to corporate facilities is that this may negatively affect employees to the point of them not wanting to continue with the company. Single-occupancy restrooms appear to be the most privacy conscious bathrooms but unfortunately they are by no means the cheapest option.
If corporations and landlords were more mindful of privacy concerns in buildings, how large would the impact be on a professional environment?
In a professional work environment I would appreciate privacy in the restroom in order to maintain professional relationships with co-workers. I would not want my reputation ruined over an incident in the restroom that was caused by forced intimacy of how the facility is built. I would hope that a company would take charge and provide their employees with the privacy needed to keep their dignity.