When was the last time you rushed into your office washroom after a bad lunch only to belatedly discover that the toilet paper had run out? How many times have you asked a colleague from the next stall to hand you a wad of toilet paper from under or over the divider? Have you ever tiptoed out to get a roll from the next stall when there was no one else in the washroom? We may only share these embarrassing stories with our best buddies but we all know how deeply annoying it is.
These scenarios however, can be easily prevented by following simple guidelines. If you would like to keep your employees happy in their private chambers, keep reading to learn how to stock a washroom properly.
Develop a list of basic supplies
Washroom supplies can be categorized into consumable and non-consumable items. The three basic consumables expected of even the most deprived office washrooms are toilet paper, paper towels and hand soap. However, employers who wish to provide a better experience in the lavatory for their employees may add other items such as hand lotion, sanitary pads/tampons, facial tissues, and cologne or air fresheners (depending on the budget.)
Non-consumable items include mirrors, sinks, trash receptacles, accessible toilets, lights, ventilation and hand dryers. These are typically permanent fixtures installed in the washroom for comfort.
Now, determining the list of supplies for your office is probably the easiest part. It is the next part that will determine if your office washroom is classy or cringe-worthy.
Determine a daily cleaning and maintenance schedule
At the very least, washrooms must be cleaned once a day. For bigger offices with a larger number of employees per washroom, it is recommended for the janitor to check up on the condition every two hours in addition to daily cleaning. To get the best of every cleaning routine, divide the process into 3 categories.
Cleaning is not only about washing the sink, scrubbing the toilet bowl and wiping down the counter. It’s also about sweeping the floor to get rid of debris such as tissue remnants, hair and other dirt. Janitors should also clean the mirrors to get rid of water marks, finger prints and other stains. Empty trash receptacles daily to prevent overflow, spillage and contact with other employees which can spread diseases. If you have installed sanitary bins in your office washroom, get your janitor to monitor the collection frequency by the bin supplier to prevent foul odor and bacterial growth. Usually, collection is done once every 2 – 6 weeks.After a round of cleaning, take a few minutes to disinfect all surfaces by wiping them down with an antimicrobial solution. Finally, mop the floor with a scented floor cleaner to keep the washroom smelling fresh and dry. Make sure your janitor puts up a ‘cleaning in progress’ or ‘slippery floor‘ sign in the area before beginning the process to prevent accidents and falls.
After cleaning, restocking of consumable items is the most important part of maintaining a good washroom. This involves leaving a fresh supply of toilet rolls, paper towels and hand soap. Make sure the supply is sufficient for the number of employees in the office and that it will last until the next round of cleaning. Don’t forget to restock other additional items such as lotion, tissues and air fresheners if required. Some metered air freshener dispensers can be set to function only in the morning or evening to last longer. In these instances, only periodic battery or cartridge replacement is necessary.When restocking, it’s important to place the items in the correct place. For example, leaving rolls of toilet paper next to the sink will get them wet and render them useless. Place them in the designated holder or dispenser.
Daily inspection of fixtures and fittings in the washroom is an important component of cleaning that’s often overlooked. The janitor should be tasked to report to maintenance whenever something needs fixing such as busted light bulbs, clogged toilets or a broken sink. They should also examine the sturdiness of the support bars in accessible toilets to make sure no screws have come loose in the last 24 hours. Test door locks and knobs to make sure they are in working condition.
The procedures outlined above will only be effective it they are enforced with proper guidelines. Provide janitors training and empower them to perform basic inspections that will keep the washroom spic and span. To make it easier for them to remember what needs to be done during each cleaning routine, create a simple checklist and list all the items above. Have an office administrator monitor this checklist for it to be effective. Additionally, prepare a log book to help you keep track of who did what on which date if the janitor assigned to your office changes from day to day. This will come in handy when it is time to identify janitors for further training.
When it’s all said and done, janitors can only do so much to keep your washroom clean and well-stocked. Educate your employees and display signs or posters on basic toilet etiquette in strategic locations to remind them of their responsibilities such as using a hand dryer instead of paper towels.
Whether it is to relieve themselves, release building tears from a fiery meeting or to wash the daze off from a sleepless night, we can all agree that employees need a washroom that affords them some privacy and comfort. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it has to be at least supplied with the basics to preserve their dignity when they leave the washroom.
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