Did you know, that in a workplace with 100 people, reducing the average bathroom break by just 30 seconds can be the equivalent of more than 50 working days over the course of a year.
According to a 2018 study of 2000 workers by Initial, on average employees spent 14 minutes away from their desk each day using the bathroom. This included the time spent moving around the building and the time in the toilet and was spread over an average of 3 breaks per day. Over the course of a year, this adds up to the equivalent of 7 working days lost productivity per employee. While such breaks are essential for wellbeing, taking steps to reduce the amount of time lost can help overall profitability.
What Takes the Time
Several factors contribute to the amount of time that employees spend on their bathroom breaks including:
- Proximity of facilities to their workspace
- How busy the facilities are
- How the facilities are equipped
Health and safety regulations set out a minimum provision of toilet facilities in the workplace. According to these regulations, a workplace should have sanitary facilities on each floor, and in an environment where there are 100 people working, there should be a minimum of 5 toilets and washbasins available.
Even if there is a bathroom on every floor of a building, it might still require staff to walk some distance from their desk to reach the facility. In larger industrial buildings, this might mean as much as a minute in each direction.
If only minimal facilities are provided, they can become busy, particularly around meal breaks when many employees may want to use them at the same time. Queueing at peak times can discourage staff from using the bathrooms during their lunch break, and instead take time away from their desk when visits are shorter. As a result of this, most workplaces will have more bathrooms than required by law to reduce time lost and improve employee comfort.
The third consideration is the equipment provided in the bathrooms. In addition to the basins and toilets, the bathroom will also have some means of hand drying available – normally either paper towels or hand dryers.
Different types of hand dryer can have a major influence on how long it takes for each person to dry their hands after washing. There are two main types of hand dryer available:
- Warm Air dryers
- Jet hand dryers
Warm air hand dryers work by blowing air slowly over a heater. This warms the air and when the user’s hands are rubbed together in the airflow, the water evaporates from the skin leaving it dry. This can take between 30 seconds and a minute depending on the speed of the air, the amount of water, and the temperature.
A jet hand dryer does not require a heating element. Instead, the air is blown through a narrow nozzle at much higher speed. This blows the droplets of water straight off the skin, and as a result is much quicker – the Mitsubishi Electric Wave i01 hand dryer can fully dry a user’s hands in as little as 10 seconds.
Provision and placement of hand dryers in a bathroom can have a major impact on the time taken for the drying process. Positioning the hand dryers away from the sinks means that there can be a better flow for employees using the facilities and prevent some areas from becoming crowded. With older warm air hand dryers, it can take much longer to dry the hands than it does to wash them, and queues can build up as a result unless the number of hand dryers is sufficient – although this results in additional costs for energy use and acquisition.
The Impact of Faster Hand Dryers
Installing faster, jet hand dryers such as the Mitsubishi Electric Wave range in your bathrooms can help to reduce the amount of time that employees need to spend away from their work each day.
The faster drying times is the most immediate benefit. Each time someone uses a Mitsubishi Electric Wave i01 hand dryer, they may save more than 30 seconds of time, and have dryer hands afterwards. The shorter drying time also means less waiting in bathrooms at busy times, which can further reduce time lost and contribute to better productivity.
When factoring in the costs of time lost to a business, and the energy saving benefits of more efficient, faster hand dryers, the case for installing more modern hand dryers in the workplace is made simple.
Find out more
For more information about specifying Mitsubishi Electric Wave hand dryers in your workplace, please contact us today to book a demonstration.