New feature: Time Off in Loo (TOIL-ET). Dealing with toilet breaks at work

Becky Mundie

Apr 2024 ⋅ 4 min read

The RotaCloud app dashboard, showing the shift and the 'start break', 'clock out', and new 'start loo break' buttons

Do you feel like staff are avoiding work by visiting the loo? Understandable. Many managers and employers are conscious of staff visiting the dumping station too much, purposely spending that time to avoid work.

But how do you approach the topic? How do you deal with employees spending too much time in the bathroom? How do you even tell an employee that they use the bathroom too much?

Luckily for you, RotaCloud has been working on a new app feature for dealing with toilet breaks at work, to flush out those work-avoiders.

We’re excited to reveal the addition of our new Time Off in Loo (or TOIL-ET) feature, launching today on the 1st April 2024!

What is Time Off in Loo? Don’t you mean Time Off in Lieu?

No, not at all. Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) is time off employees earn by working over time. Time Off in Loo (TOIL-ET) couldn’t be more different.

TOIL-ET stands for ‘Time Off in Loo - Estimate Time’. We offer an estimated time because we don’t want to be TOO intrusive on employees’ ‘special time’.

With Time Off in Loo, you can track how long your employees are pooping on company time. You can see the total minutes someone spends creating a ‘royal flush’ and collect that data in your weekly or monthly reports. 

This allows you to separate the hard workers from the piss takers time wasters at just the click of a button!

Screenshot of the reporting feature on RotaCloud, showing the 'Loo Break Totals' per employee

How does Time Off in Loo work?

It’s simple. The same way you and employees clock in, clock out, and start and finish breaks on the RotaCloud app, you’ll find a new button for toilet breaks.

Alternatively, you can install another terminal outside your staff bathrooms. This way, staff can tap the screen before and after their time on the porcelain throne (top hygiene is encouraged for the ‘after’, of course). 

Simply head into your account settings to toggle TOIL-ET on. It will then automatically appear as an option on everyone’s dashboard.

The RotaCloud app dashboard, showing the shift and the 'start break', 'clock out', and new 'start loo break' buttons

Ahh, if only this was real - right, managers? (Sorry. April Fools!) But don't be disheartened. There are much better ways to deal with toilet breaks at work than physically tracking employees. Have you tried the alternatives below?
A man holding two toilet rolls up to his eyes like binoculars

So, how do you deal with employees spending too much time in the bathroom?

1) Check in with them

Addressing the issue may be uncomfortable, but it is surely easier than introducing a toilet-tracking process. Start the conversation without judgement. If they truly are avoiding work, there are usually reasons behind it. 

In stressful situations or workplaces that are fast-paced, busy, or crowded with people - you can’t begrudge someone wanting some alone time. 

2) Offer support

It may be that employees taking more toilet breaks than average are highly stressed or struggling with their mental health. Escaping off to the loo just for a sit down and a breather, or even a cry, so checking in and looking at what could be causing such stress can really make a difference.

Alternatively, the multiple toilet breaks someone is having could be down to health and dietary issues. Again, opening up a chat - especially for something they may be uncomfortable bringing up themselves - can help pave the way for improvements. 

Whether actually needing those toilet breaks or using them for escape - see how you can support your staff.

3) Learn to trust your staff 

Trust goes both ways. Not trusting your staff to do a good day’s work, always watching what they are doing - they can feel that distrust. Unless they are giving you reason to doubt their work ethic by the infrequency or low quality of their work, you don’t need to keep such a close eye on everyone.

If you truly feel a concern with someone not working as hard as you think they should, that’s time for a conversation.

4) Take a step back

Seeing as you want to address toilet habits or are potentially excited by this new feature of ours, it may be safe to say that your management style could be a tad over-bearing. It’s not necessarily a bad thing! But micromanaging often greatly impacts employee experience. 

Creating an environment where employees are comfortable working is paramount. You may find people working harder and toilet breaks becoming fewer and fewer…

Improving your workforce management can improve employee experience

Learn how RotaCloud can help with workforce management, from rota planning and timesheets to leave requests and HR tools.

Online rota software & staff management · RotaCloud
Easy to use online rota software. Plan rotas, manage leave requests, monitor time & attendance — with free apps for your staff. Try it free today!