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We have 1 men's toilet + 1 urinal at work for about 15-20 men and 1 women's toilet for 3-4 women. The problem we have is that some of the employees don't check if everything has been flushed properly and that the bowl is clean.

According to the employees working here for a few years, this problem has been around for years. Management is getting notified of this issue a few times per year, notices have been hung out in the toilet room and it's even been mentioned on monthly meetings. But we still have this issue. It's unsanitary and unhealthy. The toilet is sometimes used by customers as well, so this also affects our public image.

What steps can be taken to ensure that this doesn't happen anymore?

  • 2
    The problem we have is that some of the employees don't check if everything has been flushed properly and that the bowl is clean. Maybe not, the actual problem is that the toilets are perceived as dirty, employees not checking if everything has been flushed is already a possible cause (other include inadequate cleaning schedule or even no professional cleaning at all, insufficient capacity, etc.) Adding a toilet, while possibly impractical, would probably help a lot. – Relaxed Mar 6 '14 at 13:10
  • Use CCTV camera on bathrooms. :-P So management can identify who is the person not cleaning the washrooms. – I am the Most Stupid Person Aug 23 '17 at 11:19
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    @DonkeyKingandDonkeyKing That is a horrible invasion of privacy and even if it's a joke it's completely inappropriate. – Nzall Aug 23 '17 at 11:22
  • Even I wrote it as a joke, some military/security related government organization use CCTV camera on even wash rooms / bathrooms..... – I am the Most Stupid Person Aug 23 '17 at 11:33
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    @DonkeyKingandDonkeyKing In most countries having a camera facing the entrance or inside a bathroom is illegal. I've tried searching whether that's the case in sri lanka, but I just get a ton of porn... – Nzall Aug 23 '17 at 11:47
58

Consider the broken window theory. People will vandalize much more easily in an unclean environment.

In my previous workplace and my current workplace, the cleaning company comes around every day. They only have about 10 minutes of work mostly: emptying the trash cans, putting the mugs in the dishwasher, cleaning the toilets. Workers also kept them that way. This works, because any and all small issues (like a paper towel that missed the trash can) are cleaned up before they escalate due to Broken Window Syndrome. Suggest to do the same in your office.

Note: I always worked in high-end information worker positions; it was unthinkable to ask employees to clean the toilets.

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    If the company can afford it, a cleaning crew is a clear investment. You will then have a happy administration that do not get piles of complains about dirty toilets and filled trashcans. And employees will also be happy for the same reasons. – Sharain Mar 5 '14 at 12:17
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    Great answer. Conversely, don't fall into a pattern of passive-aggressive behavior (e.g. angry notes, water cooler rants, etc.), which will only increase tension and decrease any real motivation to help (the beauty of the broken window theory approach is that the motivation is positive and self-induced rather than being caused by shame, fear, or anger). – Jason C Mar 6 '14 at 6:57
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    Ehm, Note: I always worked in high-end information worker positions; it was unthinkable to ask employees to clean the toilets.. Do you imply that physical workers or workers at lower levels can be asked to clean the toilet? Who has raised that arrogance/elitism into you? – phresnel Mar 6 '14 at 9:29
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    @phresnel: It's not that I'm above it. It just doesn't make any business sense. The higher the revenue per employee (i.e. per employee working hour), the more services get outsourced. At Google, it is unthinkable to have to bring/buy/prepare your own food: is that 'arrogance/elitism'? (see also interknowledgetech.com/profit%20per%20employee.pdf) – parasietje Mar 6 '14 at 11:54
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    @parasietje: That's really unobvious from what you actually wrote in your answer. And your comment is flipping around what I wrote: Of course it is not elitist if employees don't have to buy food (=convenience to make happy) or don't have to clean the toilet (=this should never be the case). But it's elitist to imply that "low-end" workers might be abused for jobs they were not contracted for. And even in most "low-end" jobs, cleaning the toilet makes no business sense at all. – phresnel Mar 6 '14 at 12:13
-1

Start a toilet cleaning rota that has to be signed off when done (similar to pub toilets with the piece of paper on the wall!) and make it part of people's objectives/bring it up in performance reviews if not done.

It is the only way to foster any sort of collective responsibility for the state of the toilets as it is obvious everyone appears to think it is someone else problem

Failing that, employer a cleaner and inform everyone that there will be no bonuses this year due to the cost of having to employ a cleaner to clean up after everyone!

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    Not possible in high-end jobs. Are you going to ask a sales director to clean toilets? Please. – parasietje Mar 5 '14 at 10:16
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    @parasietje - no mention of grades within the question. The fact that employees were mentioned and then "management have been notified" sort of implies it's not the MD that is leaving the toilets in a state. And it is not about cleaning the toilets, it is about leaving the toilet clean - basic human cleanliness and manners – Mike Mar 5 '14 at 10:41
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    I completely agree though having re-read your comment in a different context - my propsed solution only works up to a certain grade – Mike Mar 5 '14 at 10:57
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    I am paid to bill the customer. The company makes no money if I am charging for overhead activities like cleaning the restroom. It makes no sense for the company to ask me to clean toilets when they can hire a cleaning company to come in and clean the entire office a couple days over for the money and schedule they would lose while I am cleaning restrooms. Even if my company weren't billing a customer, I don't think they would like losing schedule so I and my team can clean restrooms. I certainly wouldn't give restroom cleaning time for free on top of my other work. It would replace my work. – Dunk Mar 5 '14 at 18:26
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    A rota is only fair if everybody makes the same amount of mess, which is highly unlikely. Asking employees who don't make a mess to additionally go in and clean up the fecal matter of their inconsiderate co-workers is going to generate a huge amount of resentment. – user7444 Mar 6 '14 at 10:30

protected by Joe Strazzere Mar 6 '14 at 12:44

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