A new study into commercial washroom design and user experience has revealed that wellbeing is the number one social factor that will impact washroom design in the next five years.
‘Creating better washrooms,’ commissioned by manufacturer Armitage Shanks and led by architect and academic, Dr. Saul Golden, surveyed 2,000 office workers and 400 commercial washroom designers from across Europe, to find that nine in 10 designers believe this space will have an impact on end users’ wellbeing.
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This view was also shared by three quarters of office workers themselves, while 64% even said that workplace washrooms affect their general job satisfaction.
The findings of the report demonstrate a strong link between commercial washrooms and employee health and wellbeing – an increasingly vital asset for organisations looking to attract and retain the best employees and improve their brand image.
Commenting on the findings, Dr. Saul M Golden said: “With commercial washroom quality increasingly acknowledged as an important contributor to people’s workplace satisfaction and consumer choice, this research provides timely insights for washroom designers to better adapt their projects from short-term trends to longer-term shifts in user demand.
“The findings offer new insights into people’s views on washroom hygiene, health and comfort, as well as a holistic view of the environmental, economic and technological aspects of washroom design. They therefore aim to help designers deliver value-added washrooms that not only act as more competitive comfort-driven, accessible and inclusive spaces, but also contribute to company brand image and potential ROI.”
Stephen Ewer, Managing Director of Ideal Standard UK, Armitage Shanks’ parent company, said: “The way people use commercial washrooms is undoubtedly changing as society becomes increasingly centered on city-based living, working and leisure activities. Given the evidence linking washrooms to improved job satisfaction and productivity, it’s also clear that there must be a move away from design that focuses solely on hygiene and utilitarian features, and towards design that considers personal comfort and other factors that affect wellbeing.
“This study forms part of our wider commitment to positively impact the future of modern living through evidence-based design and provides a clear demonstration that there needs to be a greater focus on washroom quality in line with end user expectations. The key to achieving this is through sustained collaboration; only by working closely with architects, designers and construction companies, as well as end users, will we be able to deliver impactful washrooms that go beyond mere function and rightfully play a central role in improving wellbeing and enhancing the lives of those who use these vital everyday spaces.”