Showers for Office Workers? Why It’s a Good Idea
As the needs and interests of modern office workers evolve, office facilities are also changing and expanding to accommodate them. One of the more practical changes happening in many offices around the country is the inclusion of shower facilities. At first, this may seem surprising; shouldn’t employees arrive for work already showered and ready for their day? In most cases, yes, but there are several situations in which a shower or similar bathing facility makes sense in an office environment.
Many employees are using their bicycles rather than automobiles to get to work, especially in urban settings. This eliminates much of the expense of gasoline and vehicle upkeep from their budgets while promoting a “green” mode of transportation. Bicycling also provides some exercise at the beginning and end of the day. A morning workout of this type can help improve both mental and physical performance in the office, while a round of bike-based cardio in the evening can help a person unwind from the day’s business. When bicycling employees arrive at the office, they are likely to be sweaty and rumpled like anyone would be after a workout. Having a facility for showers in the office allows these conscientious employees the opportunity to properly clean up and prepare for their professional duties after their bike trip.
Many employers are now offering fitness facilities and workout rooms as a benefit to their employees. These exercise rooms are excellent morale boosters and help encourage employees to work toward a healthier lifestyle. However, a lunchtime workout will have the same effect as a workout at any other time of day. By having a shower available, you’ll provide even more encouragement for employees who may be reluctant to take a few minutes for exercise during the day. Even employees who use the exercise room when their workday is done will appreciate a shower since it allows them to refresh themselves before going home or leaving for other activities.
In most offices, the type of work performed is not physically arduous and won’t get employees dirty and sweaty. However, a shower in the office allows you to anticipate a situation like this in case it occurs. If someone volunteers to help move equipment or carry heavy items, for example, a facility for showers will allow them to clean up before going back to work or heading home. If your business activities do involve processes that could create the need for a shower, having one immediately available will benefit both you and your employees.
The likelihood of exposure to any material in an office environment that could require an emergency bath is small. However, when combined with all the other benefits of having an office-based bathing facility, it provides one more practical reason to maintain showers for your employees. An office shower probably will not meet the regulatory standards required of an industrial emergency shower, but it will be there to provide a reliable water supply if needed. Office shower facilities should be designed and installed to be as water-efficient as possible.
When selecting a shower module or putting in a shower stall, make sure it uses low-flow fixtures and showerheads to minimize the amount of water used while still providing plenty of water for cleaning up. Remember that older style shower fixtures can account for as much as 50 gallons of water or more per shower. Look for fixtures that will reduce water usage to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) or less. Shower fixtures that carry the U.S. government’s WaterSense label can be relied on to be water efficient while still being effective.
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