These slanted toilets are designed to reduce the time workers spend in the bathroom

StandardToilet

A lot of companies are experimenting with ways to improve productivity. For some, it’s exploring four-day work weeks. Microsoft Japan, for example, saw a productivity boost of 40% after switching to the shorter work week, according to NPR. Other companies are giving employees yoga breaks.

Then, some companies may be considering a more punitive approach, like re-engineering toilets so that they become so uncomfortable that employees won’t want to sit on them for more than five minutes. Seriously.

StandardToilet

 

The StandardToilet was designed by a British start-up company and is in a prototype phase. It’s essentially a tilted toilet that slopes downward at a 13-degree angle. If you try to sit on it for more than a few minutes, it will start to cause strain on your legs like what you feel when you’re doing a squat.

However, StandardToilet founder Mahabir Gill recently told Wired that the toilet won’t cause any actual health issues. 

“Thirteen degrees is not too inconvenient, but you’d soon want to get off the seat quite quickly,” Gill told the tech news outlet of his creation.

The company says it’s estimated that extended employee bathroom breaks cost companies in the United Kingdom $4 billion annually. The idea? An uncomfortable toilet will curb social media use in the bathroom

Adobe
businessman sitting on wc toilet bowl using phone in hands at the bathroom

People’s reactions to the StandardToilet on social media have been mostly disgruntled to say the least. 

One Twitter user suggested bringing doorstops to the bathroom to rest your feet on and to make your time on this slanted porcelain throne more comfortable.

Others are raising the issue of how a design like this is inherently ableist in nature, like @CreakyJoints points out. Those with Crohn’s Disease and colitis, for example, often need to take frequent, recurring bathroom breaks during the work day.

Twitter user @SMBurst suggests checking out the bathroom next time you go in for a job interview to take a pulse on the company’s culture if these toilets do end up taking off.

Are these new toilets a brilliant new way to improve productivity or a cruel method for keeping employees in line?

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Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.