The Density of Office Spaces Is Causing Difficulty Maintaining Restrooms

The commercial office buildings of the 1950s featured large offices, each with their own doors and windows. Today, that sounds like a dream for most white-collar workers.

The 1990s saw a transition to cubicles. And now, more employees get crammed in smaller spaces using shared workstations. If you work in an office building, or if you know someone who has for their whole career, you’re well aware of how companies pack more workers into less space.

Of course, companies do this to reduce costs. As with any workplace change, this has some unintended consequences.

When designing these office buildings, architects only included minimum restroom space and stalls. They didn’t have any awareness of the potential trend of fitting more workers in the same space. And it’s not exactly simple to remodel an office building to include larger bathrooms, or additional ones. After all, that’s going to reduce available workspace.

Problems This Causes in Restrooms

Of course, you can see where this is going. More workers in the same space means more use of restrooms when they can’t necessarily accommodate the growth. Combine this with our country’s emerging awareness of personal hygiene and increasing emphasis on using it on a daily basis, and you have a real conundrum on your hands.

More specifically, this results in these problems:

  • Overworked cleaning crews
  • Reduced cleaning crew work performance due to burnout
  • Empty paper towel dispensers (and increased complaints because of this)

How Can Your Cleaning Team Respond?

Many cleaning teams use makeshift solutions for these problems. For example, you suddenly see a big roll of paper towels sitting on bathroom counter tops. It’s a sloppy solution you don’t necessarily need to use.

For example, manufacturers are starting to offer thinner, compressed towels that take up space. It’s also not hard to retrofit your bathrooms with elegant electric paper towel dispensers that give your employees the paper towels they need when they wave their hand. This reduces instinctual overuse of paper towels.

But What about Your Overworked Cleaning Team?

You just don’t have an easy solution for this one. You’ll have to advocate to increase your budget. You should also continue to educate senior management as to how your cleaning team’s performance improves your company’s bottom line (increasing profitability by reducing work absences caused by illness, for example).

Do a calculation to show that, when you use different products, or when you have more frequent cleaning and sanitization, your team makes a positive impact on your company’s bottom line. Senior leadership evaluates decisions based on their impact for your organization. They’d love to see thorough data regarding the difference your team makes.

It’s not going to be an easy or fast change. As you know, senior leadership judges your performance based on scent and appearance. You have to overcome that thinking to get access to the resources your team needs to make a difference at your company.

Keep checking at back at this blog – we’re excited to bring you new ideas and information that increase your cleaning team’s value to your organization.