We’ve all been there. You’re having a particularly rough day at work, and you need a break. But a walk to get coffee would take too much time, and you don’t smoke because it’s bad for you. So you go take a bathroom break, sit on the toilet, and just take a beat to breathe and relax and collect yourself. The bathroom mental health break is an essential part of the day. After five or ten or fifteen minutes of peace and quiet, you’re generally ready to go back and tackle the rest of your day.
One company based in the UK wants to take that away from us. A recent Wired article warns of the advent of the StandardToilet, a toilet that’s tilted design is meant to reduce the number of minutes employees spend in the bathroom. Along with GoFundMe medical fundraisers and initiatives like SweetGreen’s “Family Fund,” this efficiency toilet is a late-capitalist nightmare come to life.
The StandardToilet has been “approved by the British Toilet Association (BTA), which is, apparently, a real thing. The toilet sits at a downward angle of 13 degrees, enough to strain your legs and feel like an extended squat after five minutes, but not enough to cause health problems. Yippee. “Anything higher than that would cause wider problems,” said StandardToilet founder Mahabir Gill. “Thirteen degrees is not too inconvenient, but you’d soon want to get off the seat quite quickly.”
If this sounds like the work of an inhumane, productivity-obsessed cartoon villain, that’s because it basically is. Over 40 years, Gill became increasingly annoyed by discovering workers asleep on the toilet and having to wait in line for public restrooms.
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