A man using his smartphone while sitting on the toilet.
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Game of Thrones: Slanted office toilet seats spell end of prolonged potty visits

18 Dec 2019

The ‘potty police’ could be here in the form of a new toilet seat, designed to cause discomfort after prolonged periods of time.

According to the British Toilet Association (BTA), there has been a recent “innovation in toilet design”. It comes in the shape of a new toilet seat that slopes at a downward 13-degree angle. Its purpose? To cut down on the time that people spend sitting on it.

The new product, called the StandardToilet, has a sloping design that causes strain in the legs of the person sitting on it – something that its founder, Mahabir Gill, describes as “not too inconvenient”, but “you’d soon want to get off the seat quite quickly”.

Gill claims that his invention comes with health benefits, improving the posture of those who perch on it. But, he adds, its primary purpose is to benefit “the employers, not the employees”, noting that “it saves the employer money”.

Potential of a new potty

Wired reports that during his 40-year stint as a consulting engineer, Gill became frustrated when he repeatedly found workers asleep on the toilet, resulting in him having to queue for longer.

All that waiting in line apparently gave Gill the time and space to come up with the StandardToilet and, back in November, it was publicly supported by the BTA. It is on sale for between £150 and £500, and Gill told Wired that he is already in talks with several local councils and major motorway service stations in the UK to distribute his product.

According to the BTA, it’s estimated that extended employee bathroom breaks cost industry in the UK £4bn every year and so the StandardToilet could be “an asset to a business”.

Its applications are transferable to a variety of locations, the BTA highlighted, including pubs and restaurants, shopping centres and seaside resorts, among others.

Toilets in 2020

The StandardToilet is just the latest in a series of measures taken to maximise time spent by employees at their desks, but other routes have been explored.

The Daily Record reported in January that staff at a call centre in Lanarkshire were asked to sign a contract forcing them to register toilet breaks online, which were limited to a maximum of 1pc of their working day. Over the course of a four-hour shift, that would amount to just two minutes.

There are many predictions being cast for the changes workplaces will see next year, from more flexible working to greener offices. Could new protocols around bathroom breaks also be on the horizon?

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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