4 Reasons Why Your Office Washroom Needs an Occupancy Sensor

3 min read
May 15, 2020

Hygiene in shared and public spaces is a prevalent topic of conversation at the moment. One area that always raises concerns for employers and employees, however, is the workplace WC. 

On average, we spend a third of our lives at work, making access to safe and hygienic amenities an essential requirement that must be met. Poorly maintained facilities are not only demoralising for existing employees, but they may also dissuade potential new candidates from working for your organisation.

Depending on the size of your building, the frequency of usage, and the number of toilet facilities on-site, your maintenance team may be struggling to figure out the best plan of action when it comes to keeping these areas clean. Challenges such as these are driving the transformation of traditional estates into smart buildings that rely on IoT networks to collect data and automate processes with the aim of improving efficiency. Occupancy sensors fall within this realm and offer viable solutions for the improved management of workplace bathroom facilities.


1. Social distancing

Washrooms are often small confined spaces; depending on size, the occupancy could be limited to one or two individuals at a time. Until you enter the facility, however, you won’t know whether capacity has been reached. An occupancy sensor connected to a display panel outside the entrance eliminates this risk and protects safety. The Irisys SafeCount solution can provide live occupancy data and visual warnings and alerts to stop people from entering a space that has reached maximum occupancy. Learn more about SafeCount by clicking here

With social distancing set to be standard practice for the foreseeable future, keeping on top of occupancy levels is paramount to preventing the spread of disease. Situations, where individuals are lining up to enter cubicles or to access the sink, can be avoided by installing occupancy sensors that alert users when maximum capacity is reached. 

If you'd like to find out more about how occupancy sensors can be used in your establishment take a look here.

2. Better Hygiene

Almost everyone has had the experience of going into a shared bathroom facility and finding that there is no soap or toilet paper. In a COVID-19 affected world, hand sanitation is more critical than ever. Your occupancy sensors will help you to create accurate estimates for bathroom supplies based on true occupancy data. This means your cleaning staff can always keep essentials replenished, preventing situations where people may have to leave the bathroom without having had the opportunity to wash their hands. 

Taking a demand-based approach to cleaning will help you to maintain optimal hygiene. When occupancy sensors are connected to your IoT networks, workers can have a quick overview of which facilities are available and avoid busy areas or washrooms that are under maintenance. Optimising how you manage traffic in and our of these facilities will help to keep the standard of cleanliness consistent and protect your employees. 


3. Improved wellbeing and employee satisfaction

Creating a productive environment for your staff goes far beyond simply providing the right tool or comfortable office furniture. A sanitised and clean workspace strongly impacts the well-being and job satisfaction levels your employees will experience. With many individuals reluctant to return to work in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking precautionary measures to optimise hygiene and support the new social distancing measures will significantly affect how they feel about working on-site. 

Access to functional and clean toilet facilities removes an unnecessary stress factor for many workers – concerns about hygiene prevented 1 in 10 employees from using a workplace toilet according to a survey. Such restriction could cause physical and mental health issues that will eventually result in you losing valuable staff and potentially becoming a disreputable employer. A simple occupancy sensor installation could provide you with all the necessary information you need to make proactive decisions about the management of workplace toilet bathrooms and help to reassure employees that their health and wellbeing is prioritised. 


4. Cost reduction

Occupancy sensors will give you accurate data about the frequency of use and the number of visitors in real-time. This allows you to make fact-based decisions about how often to deploy cleaning staff to the site and also enables you to plan for supplies and cleaning materials more efficiently.   

Improved bathroom hygiene will also reduce the spread of illness and disease in the workplace environment. According to research, employees lost 30.4 workdays due to sick leave in 2017; frequent staff absence causes productivity to decline, which ultimately impacts your bottom line. 

When it comes to cost-saving initiatives, a further benefit of occupancy sensors is that they can help automate lighting, meaning unoccupied facilities are not draining energy unnecessarily. This helps to improve your building’s carbon footprint and lower your electricity consumption. 


The True Occupancy sensor provides a scalable solution for businesses of all sizes, providing fast and anonymous data that facilities management teams can view and share with other stakeholders to make adequate plans for the upkeep of hygiene and safety in bathrooms. To get a real sense of what you can achieve with the True Occupancy sensor, download the guide Using occupancy data to re-engage employees with the workplace.

Occupancy Business Case

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