Being a business owner requires a great deal of organization, a level head, and an eye for detail. Part of this role is to ensure that the working environment and facilities that you provide for your staff are at least adequate. The more thought and planning you put into the design and maintenance of your offices, the more valued your team will feel, and the more efficiently they can work. Both of these elements will feed directly into your business’ productivity. Whether you’re carrying out a full refurbishment or a few key upgrades, if you are planning to install new toilet facilities in your office, you need to ensure you’ve considered all the crucial factors.
Office toilet facilities: the essentials
Employers have a duty to provide their staff with access to facilities which are:
- Conveniently located
- Near to changing rooms if provided
- Supplied with clean hot and cold water
- Equipped with soap
- Equipped with towels and/or hand drying equipment
- Sufficiently ventilated and well-lit
- Clean and orderly.
Separate toilet facilities for men and women are usually provided, but if not, the facilities must have a lockable door. Take a look at this website for more information and prices for toilet cubicles.
How many toilets does your office need?
When deciding how many toilets your office needs, you need to consider the number of employees as well as their gender. Based on the maximum number of people who will be in the workplace at one time, you should provide the following facilities:
Mixed-use or women only
|Number of people||Number of toilets & washbasins|
|101+ for every further 25 people||+1|
|Number of people||Number of toilets||Number of washbasins|
|101+ for every further 25 people||+1||+1|
If you employ both men and women, you should allow for changes in the ratio of men to women over time. For example, if you employ around 100 staff, you should provide facilities for 60 men and 60 women as this will give you some leeway should the ratio change in the future.
Alternatively, you may also want to consider installing unisex or undesignated facilities which everyone can use, or providing some unisex toilets in addition to those assigned to men or women.
Equality in the workplace
There are other factors that an employer needs to consider, such as the issues around disabled access facilities, sexual identity, and gender reassignment. Accessible toilets are usually designed with wheelchair users in mind but should also be of use to people who are partially sighted or have mobility issues. These toilets should be on several levels of your building, or there should be lift access.
There is also increasing awareness around the topic of gender reassignment and people who identify as ‘agender’ or gender fluid. Offering unisex facilities can remove discomfort or discrimination that a transgender or gender fluid staff member may feel when forced to use a male or female toilet. It can also be more efficient as it evens out waiting times and simplifies maintenance. However, it’s worth noting that sometimes female staff members can feel uncomfortable using the same facilities as men so it may be best to retain some toilet which are only for women.