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WASHROOM


separate room capable of being secured from the inside’.


In spite of the logical economic reasoning that can encourage businesses to consider them, there are equally good reasons for thinking twice. The demand for unisex toilets is obviously still largely based on pressure of space but it is also dependent on new cultural attitudes that allow us to view them as acceptable.


So they can work but can also be something that causes a lot of pressure on people if they’re not the right thing for a particular organisation. There is also an argument that they can encourage men to behave differently, but it’s safe to think that still depends on which men or women we’re talking about.


People might assume that more flexible working models and higher space standards would affect the way that we specify these things. That may be true in some cases but overall the more flexibility in the way we work and the changes in modern building design usually offset the greater demand for facilities caused by increasing occupational densities. Changing work practices can put all sorts of pressure on shared infrastructure like toilets and lifts, but you have to look at that on a case by case basis. What seems to be more important is that as the office assumes more of a social and networking role for mobile employees, the more washroom facilities take on the qualities we expect from those we encounter socially. Specified to a higher standard, more of them and they are cleaned more often; washrooms are nicer, in other words - or should be!


What you see happening with washrooms reflects changes in society and the way we work. So changing space standards, changing attitudes, changing social norms and the greater number of women in the workforce are continuing to have a profound effect on washrooms. People expect better facilities and they will often make a judgement about a firm or a venue based on what they encounter in the loo.


www.freshworkspace.com www.tomorrowsfm.com TOMORROW’S FM | 49


Photo credit: www.tork.co.uk


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