poop in public
Office bathroom etiquette

Office Bathroom Etiquettes – the Do’s and Don’ts

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We all poop – typically every day – and sometimes the urge to go happens when we’re not at home. Research tells us that the second most common place for people to do their business is at work. But the office restroom is where your professional self intersects with your private self. Simply put, it can be an embarrassing and uncomfortable situation. Here’s a few simple office bathroom etiquettes to keep in mind to help lessen your anxiety while you’re pooping at work.

How to Poop at Work (Discreetly)

  1. Pick the right stall

  2. It feels a bit funny when you sit down to poop and someone chooses the stall right next door, doesn’t it? When there is a slew of other spots to choose from, give your fellow office poopers some space. And try to avoid the last stall. Even though you may assume it’s the least used, studies show it’s the least sanitary.

  3. No phone calls please

  4. Whether or not you take your phone with you into the stall is a personal choice, but don’t answer that call. No one wants their “business” to be the soundtrack of your conversation. And the person on the other end of that call doesn’t want to hear it either.

  5. Talk later

  6. Sure, you may be saying hello to a colleague you haven’t seen in a while. And maybe that convo carries on as you walk into the restroom. Fine. But if someone is mid-poo, they want you to mind your business (we bet you do, too). Save your questions about their weekend plans for the water cooler.

  7. Waiting for others to finish is not encouraged

  8. Shy bladders and bowels are REAL. That means some people can’t go if there’s another person looming just outside the stall. If you can hold it for a few minutes and come back later, it might actually speed things up.

  9. Clean up nice

  10. Leave the space the way you found it (or maybe, even cleaner?!). Wipe up any droplets on the seat, flush the toilet and put any feminine products in the appropriate receptacles, etc. If your workplace has a bathroom air freshener spray or other such products (including a spray deodorant), you may want to use that, too.

  11. It’s okay to feel anxious

  12. Up to a third of adults refuse to poop at work. So, you’re not alone in preferring to poo in the privacy of your own home.

  13. Timing can be everything

  14. If you dread having to poo at work, try to pick a time when the bathroom isn’t so full. First-thing in the morning. Mid-lunch. Anytime before the fitness folks have had their 8 glasses of water.

    Figure out when you’re likely to have the bathroom to yourself. Then, if you go at the same time every day, you’ll actually have to go at the same time every day.

  15. Bring your own supplies

  16. If you hate the company toilet paper or you have sensitive skin, bring your own. It’s okay to keep Cottonelle® Toilet Paper and/or Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes at your desk. No one’s going to judge. In fact, you may be the new office genius.

    Cottonelle® Flushable Wipes come in a handy, discreet 14-count pack, perfect for fitting in your laptop bag or purse. Check them out here on Amazon or at your nearest Walmart store in the travel section.

  17. Distract yourself

  18. Remember the talk we had earlier about bringing your phone into the stall? Lots of people don’t, but if you do, maybe you can play some relaxing music (with headphones, of course). It’ll give you something to focus on. And if you can’t hear any poots or plops, do they even exist? Probably not.

  19. Create a noise guard

  20. If your splashes sound extra loud in the silent office restroom, consider putting some toilet paper in the bowl, pre-poo. It’ll soften the blow, so-to-speak. Or consider flushing just before the action begins, to drown out any noises you don’t want heard.

  21. Remind yourself that everyone poops

  22. ‘Cause it’s true. So, make it your mantra. Say it silently to yourself in the stall if you have to…you never know, it might help you relax.

  23. For goodness sake, DON’T HOLD IT

  24. Holding your poo all day can actually make you sick. It can lead to hemorrhoids, constipation and pelvic floor dyssynergia, which is a failure of the pelvic floor muscles relaxing. So just let it go!

  25. MOST IMPORTANTLY, treat people the way you want to be treated

  26. No one wants to poop at work, so when it happens, let’s give each other a pass. Scrutinizing people’s shoes, peeking under the stalls, commenting on sounds or smells, or judging people in any way during this vulnerable moment is just not kind. It’s a natural part of life and we all do it.

Wave Lines Pattern in Pastel Grey Color
Cottonelle cleaning ripples texture


First, Remove more at once with Cottonelle Cleaning Ripples Texture ®

Cottonelle® Freshcare® Flushable Wipes


Then, use Cottonelle Flushable Wipes for a refreshing clean throughout the day

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