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The Evolving Workplace Restroom: Why the Experience Matters

  • IFMA WW 2016 San Diego Convention Center 111 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA, 92101 United States (map)

Everything communicates in your building. The lobby sets the tone for building culture; from the grain of wood at reception, to the species of fresh flowers to choice of overhead lighting. The elevators, meeting and work spaces are intentionally planned to reflect an image, creating a desired experience. But what of the office restrooms? In more than 100 years, little has changed in restroom management and design except for basic functional and aesthetic nuance. Yet employees are using restrooms in very different ways as a result of a dramatic workplace evolution. Open offices, densification, stressful commutes, active millennials, multicultural differences and the rise of women are just a few of the many reasons why the restroom is no longer just a place to do one's business. It represents not only a significant challenge with increased pressure and rising expectations but also an unprecedented opportunity to be strategically leveraged as a differentiating asset. What if restroom visits were in-between moments that uplifted, re-energized and refreshed so visitors leave feeling better than when they entered? What if restrooms became a sought after destination for regaining control and composure or a respite for a much needed moment of privacy? What if the restroom experience in your building became one of the most memorable and differentiating factors in your overall building satisfaction? This session will highlight principles of behavior science, anthropology, human psychology and the aggregation of marginal gains that may be leveraged to customize a differentiated restroom experience without a major renovation.