Wash your hands. Be neat and wipe the seat. Remember to flush. All things we've seen on signs in restrooms in commercial buildings. But really, if the message didn't sink in when you were a toddler, is a sign going to help?
Recently I was in discussion with an FM who was facing a problematic pee-er at her new facility. After many years in the industry, she was stumped on how to best address this new challenge. I assured her that she is not alone. It's shocking what people will do to a public restroom. But in a facility where you work day in and out, one would think there would be more care taken.
So, outside of toilet stalls that self-clean after ever visit, what is the best solution to problematic bathroom behaviors? Here are some ideas from my experience. Please add your own suggestions.
Problem: Tenants seem to be eating the toilet paper. Can never keep it stocked.
Solution: High-capacity rolls, multi rolls, and sensors on dispensers to alert to low levels.
Problem: Aiming issues.
Solution: For urinals, a decal on the target area seems to help users aim.
Problem: Not flushing.
Solution: Automated flush valves, though these need to be properly calibrated to avoid wasting water with multiple flushes.
Problem: Not washing hands.
Solution: This solution is not good for a general population but for critical hand washing situations (healthcare, food preparation) smart chip devices on bracelets exist that will not grant access to a certain zone unless the chip registers a visit to a handwashing station first.
There are a lot of other restroom problems for which I do not have a solution, and the human capacity to be gross in restrooms is never ending. It is also a very sensitive problem to address. Facility managers can't stake out a restroom and shame adults who should know better into better bathroom habits. For one, HR will not be happy. For two, that would take up a lot of resources.
So what's an FM to do? Share your experiences and solutions in the comments below.
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