Tilting Toilets and Smell Checks Don’t Solve Your Productivity Issues

by Evil HR Lady on December 18, 2019

One of the advantages of having a social media presence is that readers will tag me on interesting stories. One of the disadvantages is that sometimes this involves icky things, like a smell check for employees who spend too long in the bathroom.

Oh, how I wish I were joking. First, there’s the company that wants to do a smell check if you’re in the bathroom too long.

Who gets this job, I wonder? I’m guessing this would fall under HR’s responsibilities, and it’s a big pile of nope. 

Then there’s this tilting toilet that is designed to make it uncomfortable to sit on the throne for more than five minutes.

To keep reading, click here: Tilting Toilets and Smell Checks Don’t Solve Your Productivity Issues

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

grannybunny December 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

Monitoring bathroom breaks is treating employees like children — agreed! — but banning phones from the building is not? If an employer has reasonable productivity demands, and holds employees accountable for their performance, how much time they spend in the bathroom — or whether or not they spend their breaks on their personal phones — normally would not even be a consideration. Treating employees like children lowers morale, which — in turn — lowers both engagement and productivity. Most employees resent being micromanaged — and the distrust that it conveys — and, as a result, end up doing the bare minimum, rather than pushing themselves to benefit their mistrustful employers. If an employee is spending a disproportionate amount of time in the bathroom — such that they are not satisfying their job’s minimum requirements — it’s perfectly appropriate for management to ask if everything’s alright. And, of course, management always has the right to insist on basic performance requirements. But, if I had an employee starting to spend a lot of time in the restroom, I would ask myself what was going on outside the bathroom — toxic management, co-worker conflicts, etc. — that might be contributing to that situation.


Bobboccio December 19, 2019 at 3:59 pm

I’m with Grannybunny on this one. Banning cellphones from the building is also treating employees like children. It’s also impractical, because HR can’t go around searching each employee each morning.


Florida December 20, 2019 at 3:51 pm

I didn’t see anything that said banning cell phones from the building. It said you can’t use phones at work.
A cashier at the grocery store can have their phone in their pocket or in their locker in the break room, so they can easily access them when they take a break. But they cannot pull out their phone in between customers. Sound pretty reasonable to me.


grannybunny December 20, 2019 at 4:47 pm

Well, actually, she did mention the possibility of banning phones from the building, which I assume you would find unreasonable. People sometimes need to be reachable, in case of family emergencies, etc.


GreenDoor December 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm

In addition to the ADA-related issues, I can see these ridiculous policies unfairly targeting women, as we typically have more bathroom-related needs – I have spent time dealing with particularly heavy menstrual issues, adjusting my lingerie to avoid embarassment, engaging in stand-offs with another woman who obviously needed to do #2 as much as me…but since women arent’ supposed to toot and stink, neither of us would budge and go first. And let’s face it, in some smaller workplaces, women are still forced to use the restroom to pump breastmilk. None of these mean I’m an unproductive employee. Managers should manage the work, not the bathroom trip.


jdgalt December 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm

Some men also have health reasons for needing to be in the bathroom longer and/or more often.

I understand bosses’ concern with productivity, but unless they at least ask why (and do it somewhere non-public) they are setting themselves up for claims they don’t want to pay.


MariaRose December 19, 2019 at 1:22 am

The company doing this is taking micromanagement to the extreme to get that “essential” 28 minutes and 53 seconds of productivity time out of their employees. They might as well put buckets by each employee to save time. I highly suggest run not walk out the door of this workplace as fast as possible.
But again, as the other commenters state, there are other reasons why the employees are using the bathroom to waste time away from their work. (I am not referring to call of nature needs). If the job is so boring or frustrating that those moments sitting on the toilet are the only time you actually take a seat to relax, there’s something wrong.


Mr Stinky December 19, 2019 at 2:05 am

I’d be happy to keep a “burner” cell phone doused with, say, deer urine and cayenne pepper for someone to smell on the way out of the bathroom. Childish? Sure, you first.


Oh 38oh1 December 20, 2019 at 1:18 am

Amazon has a variety of sprays to fool anyone tasked with taking the sniff test… Fart Spray, Stinky Ass, Stink Bombs, etc…


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