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People are pooping at work, and other office bathroom habits

How does your “paperwork” compare with that of colleagues?

Would you enter the office bathroom if a co-worker’s already in there? Do you dare do your doodie on duty? Can your boss time her watch by your afternoon “deliverables”? These are precisely the questions that MFour Mobile Research sought to answer in a poll of more than 1,000 employees on their workplace bathroom habits. Below, a few revealing insights about what’s happening in the real break room.

Employees like to be alone.

You waltz into the office bathroom ready to seize the throne and—wait, is that Cheryl from accounting humming to herself in the second stall?! (Yes, of course it’s Cheryl; only Cheryl wears rainbow socks with clogs.) That paralyzing fear of letting loose when a colleague’s nearby doesn’t make you a weirdo; 69 percent of respondents reported feeling uncomfortable when they know they’re not alone in the workplace loo. An overly friendly 3 percent say they would actually enjoy the company. (Is that you, Cheryl?!)

Most of us poop at work.

It’s happening, people. We’re human. We do human things … like pooping. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they make bowel movements during work hours. So if you’ve been holding it till quittin’ time, you’re in the minority. Tell the boss you’re off to the ivory office to launch a new product and go do your thing.

Workers don’t maintain a schedule.

Your officemates may be counting down the minutes to happy hour, but they’re not booking calendar time to, um, add value to the “porcelain project.” Eighty-four percent of respondents said they don’t keep a specific bathroom schedule; when nature calls, they answer. But that doesn’t mean your co-workers are naive about the other kind of rush hour: Forty-seven percent notice that their office bathroom is most crowded from noon to 2 p.m.

Employees stay busy.

Talk about multitasking! It turns out that many workers are toting their phones into the bathroom (germ alert!), and lots of them (41 percent) are surfing the Web while they go. But even more (44 percent) are catching up on social media; Facebook is particularly attractive to potty people, with 38 percent of respondents reporting logging in from the office toilet. So all those kitten memes the VP is posting? Try not to think about where those might be coming from.