It seems like a paradox to wish for a sense of privacy in a public bathroom, but it is what it is. The reality is commercial washrooms, where people are in their most vulnerable state, offer little comfort and solitude for those who need it. In most instances, women are in dire need of it. That is why business owners must consider the unique needs of women when designing commercial washrooms in their establishments.
Everyone needs some privacy when doing our thing in the bathroom. This is especially true for women, who do more than just pee in the urinals or loo. They need more time in the cubicle to do their normal personal hygiene routine and other “girly” stuff. The design of the bathroom in commercial establishments can determine how comfortable women would be while using it.
It is, therefore, important to think about women’s needs when designing and constructing commercial bathrooms. They spend more time in the restroom than men do, and for good reasons. It is right and proper to provide the privacy they need.
The Case for Female Privacy
Women face distinct challenges when it comes to using public bathrooms. For one, they experience added discomfort when it is that time of the month. That said, they need private space to maintain good hygiene. In school settings, girls who unfortunately bleed through their uniforms are at the receiving end of teasing and gossips. In other commercial contexts, women need more time in washrooms, as they deal with nasty menstrual cramps.
Some women also suffer paruresis or the inability to urinate in public areas or in the presence of others. Although this “commonly” affects men, experts believe that women just do not report it as frequently as men do.
Males tend to view paruresis as a threat to their masculinity, so they seek treatment for it right away, whereas women do not experience that in their feminine image, thinking that it is just something they need to endure. Paruresis is so debilitating for some women to the point of them not leaving their house.
The Private-Public Loo
With intentional design, it is possible to create a sense of privacy in the ladies’ room. Bathroom stalls, for instance, which offer just a little space at the bottom, can increase privacy. Adding cosy, home-like features can likewise give the illusion of solitude, so invest in neutral-coloured bathroom wall panels, art pieces and mood lighting. Be sure to have excellent acoustic control as well.
Full-height cubicle systems can help prevent noises. But you can drown or mask these by playing soothing music. This will likewise create the feel of a home bathroom, which builds an atmosphere of privacy. Women can be more comfortable when it feels like they’re at home. They can do whatever they want inside without being disturbed or distracted.
Privacy is a much-needed element in a public bathroom. Give your customers, employees, and students, especially the women, that rest and peace of mind by designing your restrooms according to their specific needs.