What can be done to maximise hygiene and reassure employees in the work washroom? Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit discusses
The issue of hygiene continues to remain front of mind for everyone and it’s clear that the lasting effects of the pandemic will be felt widely for some time to come. The space around us has undergone such drastic changes and so, too, have our expectations of the workplace environment.
With the return to the office post lockdown, Geberit carried out a YouGov poll in 2021 to discover the sentiment around this return. More than three quarters (76%) of employees were willing to return to the office for either some or all of their working hours if correct safety measures were put in place by firms. However, the poll also showed that staff communal toilets or washroom areas were the biggest area of concern for employees. Unsurprisingly, 47 percent had reservations about surfaces and touchpoints in the office, and 37 percent of respondents worried about standards of washroom hygiene.
The washroom space is clearly an important space in the workplace. Hygiene is critical but incorporating designs and products that reinforce the perception of a clean space are equally important to reassure employees.
Innovations out there such as infra-red and touchless technology will play a huge role in the future of workplace washroom design. Touchless products are an obvious solution to maximise hygiene and minimise touchpoints.
Infra-red wall-mounted taps, for example, such as Geberit’s Brenta and Piave products, optimise hygiene in heavy footfall washrooms. Likewise, touchless WC and urinal flush controls incorporate a sensor that allows the unit to flush as soon as the toilet or urinal has been used, all minimising touchpoints.
But it’s not just this infra-red technology that can help put hygiene front-of-mind. Other product developments from manufacturers – for instance, Geberit’s KeraTect® glaze – makes cleaning easier with its virtually non-porous and smoother surface; such glazes can also help prevent staining of the ceramics and create a high-gloss effect. Solutions like this not only help maintain high levels of hygiene but also help to enhance the look and feel of the washroom as a ‘clean’ space.
Similarly, features such as Rimfree® toilets and TurboFlush technology can eliminate tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan. Removable QuickRelease hinge WC seats also help to eradicate any hidden areas where dust and bacteria may collect, reducing cleaning time.
Anxieties around the office washroom are still running high. For many, prioritising hygiene has never been more essential and reassuring staff is key to continue to make offices safe, hygienic and stress free.
The responsibility is on firms and manufacturers to continue to work together to create not only hygienically optimised products, but find solutions and designs that also reinforce the perception of a clean space. Doing so will not only reassure staff but also future-proof the space for a new design era ahead.
For further information, visit geberit.co.uk
All images courtesy of Geberit