The article, Why Do Office Bathrooms Stink, by Christopher Bonanos, notes that the current standard office bathroom design causes stress for a lot of people: there's no privacy, noises and smells can be a source of embarassment, and people feel they are being monitored in their visits. Plus they are a design wasteland, for the most part, and bring no joy into people's lives.
"Bathroom visits at work are a source of stress for a lot of people"
Nick Haslam, of University of Melbourne and author of the 2012 book Psychology in the Bathroom, told Businessweek that "Bathroom visits are work are a source of stress for a lot of people. Being overheard can be especially troubling for women, to the point that many Japanese women carry little white-noise generators to mask incriminating sounds when they visit the bathroom."
In some cultures these noises are embarassing enough that people flush frequently, (creating unnecessary use of treated water!)
The Businessweek article goes on to ask some leading designers to rethink the office bathroom, and they come up with some creative and amazing ideas.
You can find out more about the Thirst global water awareness campaign on their site, here.
And you can get the app for free on the Itunes App Store.
And of course, Professor Haslam's book is available at any of your friendly neighborhood online bookstores.