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The Real Cost of Employee Bathroom Breaks

The Real Cost Of Employee Bathroom Breaks

Bathroom breaks. The dirty, little secret no one likes to talk about that’s costing companies LOADS of money. 

Make a stink and require employees to punch out to use the restroom, and you could get a hefty fine. Do nothing about bathroom breaks, and you’ll silently rack up thousands upon thousands of dollars in lost time from your employees doing their doo…duty. 

And don’t get us started on the hassle of fulfilling workplace sanitation requirements while making sure you don’t break indecent exposure laws.

It’s enough to give any company leader a headache. (Defecation defamation, anyone?)

To keep your workforce happy and reputation clean, you need to find a solution that solves the cost of bathroom breaks without sacrificing your employee performance and morale. 

We have the perfect solution.

Let us break down the real cost of employee bathroom breaks and show you a way to improve the restroom experience no matter where your workers are.


Breaking Down the Cost of Bathroom Breaks

Imagine you manage the workforce of a communications technology company. Your workers climb hundreds of feet each day to inspect tower exteriors, repair equipment, collect data, and perform routine maintenance. 

The only way up and down the tower is by a vertical metal ladder. And of course, there’s no porta-potty or bathroom in the tower.

When nature calls, workers have to descend to reach a porta-potty (or worse, a tree), take time to do their business, and then climb back up a few hundred feet to resume working.

A free climb can take 10 minutes. The descent can be quicker and take as little as five minutes, and the bathroom break another five to 10 minutes. To make numbers easy, let’s say that’s 20 minutes in total per bathroom break.

If a worker had to make a bathroom run three times a day, that’s an hour per day, or five hours per week lost to restroom breaks. And if the average wage of a telecommunications technician is $22.95 per hour, you’re losing approximately $5,738 a year due to toilet visits (assuming your employees work 50 weeks a year).

… And that’s just in employee wages.

You also have to consider the “rolling costs.” Do employees have to use a company vehicle to travel to a bathroom? How much gas is that using for every trip? How many extra miles is that putting on the vehicle adding to maintenance costs? When you consider all those related expenses, the hourly cost can easily jump to an average of $150/hour, or $37,500 a year!

So, how can you cut costs without soiling your company’s image? First, we’ll tell you how NOT to do it. 


The Risks of Cutting Corners to Save Costs on Bathroom Breaks

There are a couple ways to cut corners on bathroom breaks, but both come with repercussions.   

You Could Violate Workplace Sanitation Requirements 

According to OSHA, employers must “avoid imposing unreasonable restrictions on restroom use.” Taking this into account, encouraging employees to speed things up when relieving themselves is an OSHA violation. 

Limiting bathroom breaks – even if “inadvertently” due to extreme productivity quotas – could also lead to negative public backlash if word got out. (We all saw what happened with Amazon’s overworked delivery drivers.)

Your Employees Could Violate Indecent Exposure Laws

Asking workers to pop a squat 400 feet above the ground or doing so once they reach the worksite (if there’s no porta-potty) is a big no-no. 

Not only are bathroom breaks meant to be private and mirror the same “at home” experience, but revealing one’s genitals under circumstances that are likely to offend others is considered indecent exposure. Indecent exposure is considered a misdemeanor in most states, and fined accordingly. 

And aside from violating the law, you run the risk of someone seeing them pop a squat and complaining about it—or worse, blasting photos on social media. (And let’s not forget on-site security cameras, too.)


The Ultimate Bathroom Break Solution

No matter your employees’ work situation – atop a 30-story steel structure, in the remote wilderness, or stuck in a vehicle for hours on end – you need a bathroom break solution that’s private, safe, and compliant.

That’s why we developed the Brief Relief Liquid Waste Bag.

Our waste bags are spill-proof, compact, and convenient. They have a triple barrier to lock in waste, making them odorless and puncture-proof, and can be thrown away in a regular garbage bag.

Don’t have somewhere private where employees can use the waste bags? No problem! 

Brief Relief’s Liquid Waste Bags can be easily paired with commode systems and portable shelters for ultimate privacy and comfort. From travel systems and curtains to canopies and private shelters, we can find the perfect solution for your specific bathroom break needs.

Check out Brief Relief’s savings calculator to see how our products can assist your organization in saving time and money while simultaneously increasing employee productivity, improving worker morale, and keeping your reputation clean.