I’m not ashamed to admit it; I’ve held several conversations on the can that directly pertain to business. I’ve also looked over contracts and planned events, all while relieving myself. In the sitcom Seinfeld, when the character George read a book in the bathroom, it was “flagged” and people didn’t want to go near it. I wouldn’t give a crap (no pun intended) if someone read a book in the bathroom. I’m not saying that you should invite people into your bathroom/office, but I feel like business shouldn’t stop moving, just because your bowels are.
When you are away from home or the office, the best place to have some privacy is in the bathroom. As an entrepreneur, I have to be able to conduct business, even when I’m at my day job. IF I whip out my cell phone while working at the check out counter to close a deal, my supervisor says I’m neglecting my duties. On the other hand, if I excuse myself to the bathroom to return the call, I get the opportunity to close the deal without getting into trouble.
Using the bathroom for social and business matters is nothing new for me. This one time, when I worked at a hardware supply store, I took a little more than 15 minutes to use the restroom because I was text messaging someone. When I left the men's room, my manager asked why I had taken so long. I simply replied, “I was handling my business.” You see, what happens in the bathroom is supposed to stay in the bathroom, so I didn’t have to give a detailed explanation to my boss.
The key to using your bathroom as your second office is to not abuse its privacy and convenience. After all you don’t want to “flagged” as an employee, or at least not until you close that million-dollar-deal.
For more on workplace bathroom etiquette, you might want to check this out.
*Toilet desk image from (www.home-inspect.com).