We always tell people to bring us their struggles and frustrations. We want to know what work issues slow your productivity. That way we can help you innovate your way through through them.
No one turns down the help. Still, many people don’t truly understand what we mean or how technology can be used to creatively solve a problem.
For example, our company is tight on space. We have an office in San Marcos that’s totally maxed out on space. Even with creative desk placement, it’s . . . cozy. We have plans to address the space issue, but it will take some time.
In the meantime, we’re thinking out of the box. We have to make this office work for now.
We’ve expanded the parking lot. Folks double-up on offices, sharing the space. Our team members who travel don’t have dedicated desks. We’ve made it as good a fit as possible.
But there was one problem, one big problem, weren’t expecting. The bathroom situation.
The Low-Tech Issue
You see, with an organization where 75% of the staff are men, a bathroom with just one stall and one urinal doesn’t work. It wastes time and causes a lot of understandable frustration.
While it’s not uncommon to see a line outside the women’s room, men are usually in and out fast enough to eliminate any wait. When you see men dancing outside the men’s bathroom you know something’s going on.
As leadership, we were concerned about both lost time and our employees’ comfort level. We wanted to do something. We just weren’t sure what to do.
We discussed bringing in port-a-potties, or making arrangements with one of our neighbors, or even avoiding hiring more men due to restroom restrictions! But none of these solutions seemed to fit.
The Red Light
Then one day our owner and CEO, Whit Ehrich, showed up with the red light. Literally. A red light.
He connected it to a motion sensor in the stall of the men’s restroom. The light is in the middle of the our space so everyone knows when the stall is in use. No more wasted time going to check to see if they restroom is empty. Problem solved.
And, yes, we thought it sounded crazy at first, too. We all laughed as Whit installed and tested his light. But it’s really helped!
Unconventional though it is, that red light has dramatically lowered restroom frustrations. Plus, we were all reminded of how a little out-of-the-box thinking can improve our lives.