Jun 13, 2016
Nov 9, 2023

Office Hack #16 — The Workplace Washroom Hack

Today’s office hack tackles a delicate topic: numerous employees, one washroom.
Envoy Author
Office Hack #16 — The Workplace Washroom Hack

Envoy is all about making things easier and more fun in the office. In that spirit, we are proud to bring you our new Envoy Office Hacks podcast series. Every week, we deliver the coolest, most ingenious, and just plain fun fixes people have invented to improve efficiency and productivity in their workplace.

Today’s Office Hack tackles a delicate topic.

Numerous employees. One washroom.

Podcasting platform Stitcher is based in San Francisco. Their office covers two floors with only one very in-demand washroom located on the lower floor. The engineers who occupy the second floor spend much of their day walking down the stairs often to find that the lavatory is in use.

“It was dark times, really. We had to walk all the way down the stairs to see if the bathroom was being used, and then often it was, so we had to walk back upstairs, and then repeat. I suspect my output of work suffered greatly, but I did get some exercise in.” Madison Bryan, Web Developer, Stitcher


Fed up with all the unnecessary trips, IOS Engineer Ashley Kayler found inspiration in home security systems. Ashley purchased an open-close sensor monitor online for about $22.00 and affixed it to the sole washroom door. Normally used for alerting one of danger, in this case, the sensor was used to signal vacancy of the most coveted room in the office.

Ashley installed the sensor with a screwdriver. A magnet inside the monitor broadcasts a signal when the door is open or closed. Ashley installed the indicator light monitor with the help of some double sided tape on the wall on the second floor. The lights turns red or green signaling to the engineers whether or not it’s worthwhile to venture down the stairs.

“You could say this is born out of laziness but if you think about it the other way the hack was really designed to not waste time here in the office,” Ashley Kayler, IOS Engineer, Stitcher

The hack is a hit! And completely affordable and easy to install.

“This is easy enough for your grandma to do. Literally, if you can use a screwdriver you can set this up,” Ashley Kayler, IOS Engineer, Stitcher

Next on Ashley’s project list… a sensor that signals lunch time!

How to hack it

If you’d like to hack your workplace washroom, here’s what you’ll need:



  • Install open/close sensor on the front or back of washroom door with a screwdriver and/or double sided tape
  • Install light indicator monitor on wall with double sided tape or screws
  • Activate battery, watch for the right light, answer nature’s call

Listen & Subscribe

You can listen to the full story in the Envoy Office Hacks podcast.

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Envoy Author
Envoy Author

This post was written by one of the many writers at Envoy who are passionate about helping educate and inspire workplace leaders. We cover everything from the visitor and employee experience, to space and delivery management, to the workplace tech-stack that keeps it all running.

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