Why Women’s Toilets Always Have Long Queues— and How to Solve It

toilet signLong queues in public loos are simply a reality for most women. Whether it’s at a mall, the hospital or a restaurant, the waiting game just doesn’t end. For the general public, this is an inconvenience. For the building owners, it’s angry customers or visitors waiting to explode.

The challenge, therefore, is how to cut down the long lines in toilets. The good thing here is that science can back you up. But first, why the lengthy lines?

The Reason

A study from Ghent University published in 2017 found that long queues happen due to the design of the space and the long time women spend in stalls.

For the first one, the researchers have observed that stalls in women’s toilets occupy more space than the men’s urinals. So, even with the same square footage, women tend to have less private areas than the men’s.

The second factor, which is the time spent in stalls, is fairly simple. For men, it’s just a matter of stand, zip, and wait. For women, they would have to open the toilet cubicle door, lock it, secure their private space before getting down to business, and then pee, and then hoist back up the skirts, layering clothes, and then clean the toilet seats for any residue, and then wash hands.

This doesn’t include the occasional tending to other biological needs, such as checking sanitary pads, throwing it in the trash, and replacing them. In short, it’s a long process.

The Solution

Those two factors make for long waiting times in women’s bathrooms. What do the researchers recommend to address the problem? The first one is to double the number of toilet cubicles in the women’s loos. This would mean adding a huge space to accommodate the new stalls.

The second proposal is unisex toilets. From the solid six minutes in the bathroom, waiting time could be down to less than a minute and a half for women.

Plus, this solution makes for gender-inclusive bathrooms. Most schools in New Zealand are adopting this as more people begin to acknowledge and celebrate gender diversity.

Could the long lines in your establishment be driving away the public you serve? Don’t let it. Consider the mentioned solutions to cut down long waiting times in your toilets.