Watch CBS News

Downward tilting toilet is designed to shorten your bathroom break

Your bathroom break may soon become less comfy — and shorter — due to a new downward-tilting toilet aimed at making it tough to sit for more than five minutes. 

StandardToilet, based in the U.K., claims people spend 25% more time in office bathrooms than necessary, costing employers lost work time and billions in productivity. Its toilet will save British businesses more than $6 billion per year, it says. 

That may soon spread to U.S. workers, with the company saying in an email to CBS MoneyWatch that it's had "a fantastic response" from American companies that have heard about its new toilet design.

StandardToilet's design, which angles downward, aims to save employers money and boost productivity by shortening worker bathroom breaks. StandardToilet

The design is the brainchild of founder Mahabir Gill, who told Wired that he came up with the idea after growing frustrated at his inability to find an open bathroom stall at a shopping mall. He told the publication that the company has held discussions with local city councils and some highway service stations about installing the toilet.

A bathroom break, it seems, is no longer simply for bodily functions, but serves as a time to check social media or text, leading to longer bathroom breaks, according to the trade group the British Toilet Association.

Gill told Wired: "Its main benefit is to the employers, not the employees. It saves the employer money."

However, the toilet isn't entirely about curtailing bathroom breaks. The 13% downward slope of the toilet has health benefits, the company told CBS MoneyWatch. In its email, the company said the design "helps in reduction of risk in swollen hemorrhoids."

As for U.S. regulations on the length of bathroom breaks, there's no hard-and-fast rule. Employers can't impose "unreasonable restrictions on restroom use," but workers also shouldn't take "an excessive amount of time during bathroom breaks," according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. 

The new toilets retail for between $200 to $650, Wired said.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.