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How to Practice Good Office Bathroom Etiquette

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Working in an office means day-to-day contact -- and any faux pas you make in the bathroom is likely to be noticed and remembered by your co-workers. Practicing proper workplace bathroom etiquette by using courtesy flushes and cleaning up the bathroom after you use it can leave you respected in the eyes of your workmates.

Handling Conversation

If a co-worker or boss strolls into the bathroom, a quick, friendly greeting is all that is necessary -- others may be averse to carrying on a conversation in the bathroom, according to the Reader's Digest article "All Your Bathroom Etiquette Questions-- Answered!" Conversation should be barred altogether when you or the other person are in a stall, according to the Women's Health Magazine article "A Bathroom Etiquette Guide." Once your business is finished, it is polite to leave the bathroom; you can wait for a co-worker outside.

Using the Bathroom

A courtesy flush -- flushing in the middle of using the bathroom -- can reduce odor and block out noise for others that are in the room, which is generally good practice, according to The International Center for Bathroom Etiquette. When it comes to finishing up, leave the bathroom in the shape you found it in: Clean up any waste and pick up toilet paper you may have dropped. Proper workplace bathroom etiquette also means washing your hands when you are finished in the bathroom.

Correcting Problems

If you have polished off a roll of toilet paper, or you find that it has been used when you enter the stall, getting extra rolls from another stall is the first order of business. If there are no additional supplies, talk to the office manager or janitorial team about getting more. If a clog happens, hold down the lever for a few moments to see if that helps. When clogs will not budge, or if the toilet overflows, talk to your office manager or custodian right away.

Other Courtesies

Entering the bathroom means knocking first -- whether knocking on the entry door if the bathroom is a single toilet, or checking for feet under stalls before knocking and entering, according to Women's Health Magazine. It also means foregoing cell phone conversations: The person on the other end of the line may not be pleased to hear the disruptions of flushing toilets, while others in the bathroom with you may incorrectly believe that you are talking to them.


About the Author

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

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