Tuesday, May 28, 2002

News story of the day...

Secrets of the Office Restroom
Fri May 24, 9:45 AM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The restroom may be the most private place in the cubicle-land of today's open-plan offices, but, unlike the characters of Ally McBeal (news - Y! TV), few workers use it for emotional breakdowns or to escape a busy day.

In fact, 92 percent of U.S. office workers say they use the bathroom only for the plumbing -- and then they hightail it back to their desks.

Still, a lot of office grunts wouldn't mind a back rub in the lav, or maybe some tunes. A warm seat wouldn't be so bad either, according to a survey conducted for U.S. paper giant Kimberly-Clark Corp.

The survey found that just 2 percent of office workers go to the restroom to "hide or get away."

Many employees are simply too preoccupied with work. Of the 257 adults surveyed, one-third said they think about work assignments while in the restroom.

Nevertheless, office drones might be happy to spend more time in bathrooms if employers provided a few perks. More than a quarter of respondents said they'd like magazines and newspapers in their bathroom stalls.

The true dreamers, a respectable 12 percent, requested masseuses and manicurists.

Another 11 percent asked for stalls outfitted with music and headsets while a few practical folks -- 9 percent -- said heated toilet seats would make bathrooms cozier.

The survey reported that workers are keen to find their stalls stocked with -- surprise! -- just the kind of toilet amenities that Kimberly-Clark can provide.

When presented with a list of ugly restroom situations, 15 percent said asking someone to share toilet paper was their worst lavatory nightmare, while 13 percent said running out of the stall to get paper and scurrying back was their biggest fear.
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