Whether it’s for staff, clients, or customers – it’s vital for any business to have clean and hygienic toilets and washrooms. Clean and tidy restrooms have benefits for health and safety, and for the experience and impression that your business gives to people.
In this article, we are taking a look at the regulations for restrooms for businesses in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as some handy tips for how to keep the restrooms in your business well maintained.
Restrooms for staff
A business owner is required by law to provide a certain number of toilets based on the number of people in the building. If you have less than 15 people working for you, then providing one unisex, lockable bathroom is enough. If you have more than 15 people working for you, the number of toilets, basins, and urinals you need depends on the specific male, female, and gender-neutral requirements. You can read more about these regulations here.
There also needs to be sufficient handwashing facilities, hot running water and other necessities – such as soaps/hand sanitisers and paper towels or electric hand dryers.
Having poorly maintained and unhygienic restrooms will have a direct impact on the morale and health of your employees. It will cause them to be unwell more often and take time off work sick. It will lower their productivity, which in turn impacts the bottom line of your business. It also has the potential to spread serious illnesses and viruses that are very detrimental to the health of your staff, especially for pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems. Unclean toilets are ideal breeding places for harmful bacteria including E. coli, the flu, and Hepatitis A.
Working for a business that doesn’t seem to care about your health or safety is also demotivating for employees, which will lower employee engagement and loyalty.
Restrooms for customers and clients
If you have a building which is frequented by external visitors and clients (a restaurant, café, or an office open to the public), it’s very important to have well-presented bathrooms for them to use.
This is not to say that you should devote all your time to transforming your toilet to an Instagrammable or social media-worthy one. It can be even as simple as keeping your close-coupled, soft close, or stainless steel toilet suites clean all the time.
A dirty bathroom makes a horrible impression, and many people simply wouldn’t return if that were the case at your business. In fact, 80% would avoid a restaurant or eatery if they were unimpressed with the state of the bathrooms.
There are also regulations for restaurants and other public buildings. The general requirement is one toilet and one basin per 15 men and women. To get more information specific to your business, check out the New Zealand Building Code. You can also take a look at the online toilet calculator if you want to check the requirements for your commercial building.
Design and maintenance
Whether your building has 1 or 100 bathrooms, the design and maintenance are very important. Regardless of whether it’s for the staff or the public, there are things you can do to keep bathrooms hygienic and pleasant in your building:
Commercial washroom environments and bathrooms in buildings or businesses should be cleaned every day or, in busy restaurants or large offices, at least twice a day. This includes emptying rubbish bins, wiping up water spills, restocking any supplies that are running low, and sanitising surfaces.
Easy hand hygiene
Facilitating proper hand hygiene is crucial to preventing the spread of illness and viruses. Providing soap dispensers and sanitiser dispensers, electric hand dryers and/or paper towels is very important in the fight against germs. It’s also a good idea to keep signage near the sinks or on the back of the cubicle and bathroom doors reminding people to wash their hands thoroughly before they leave.
A bathroom may look clean and tidy, but you also need to keep on top of any lingering smells. Keeping automatic air fresheners in the room can help with unpleasant smells. You should also be sure to thoroughly clean the toilets regularly to prevent the build-up of germs in the toilet bowls, which can also contribute to bad odour. Ensuring there is sufficient airflow, from windows or ventilation systems, will also help with odour control.
Additional supplies such as flushable toilet seat covers or toilet seat sanitisers are greatly appreciated by many people when using public or shared restrooms. You should also provide sanitary and nappy disposal units.
Let us take care of it
Taking care of restrooms is a big task and it can take a lot of time and energy. It’s best to call in the professionals, who have all the expertise and equipment for getting the job done right. Crewcare has a bathroom management solution for every business. And it’s not just bathrooms – we can provide a tailored commercial cleaning service to all sorts of businesses including offices, restaurants, cafes, and schools. Get in touch with us today to find out more about what we have to offer to your business.