Japanese organisation creates app to tell staff when nearby toilets are free

Something for the weekend: All employers want staff to make productive use of their time throughout the working day, avoiding distractions that may keep employees away from completing set tasks. Japanese telecommunications organisation KDDI has come up with an innovative solution to cut unnecessary queuing time at office toilets through the development of a new app.

The Internet of Things (IoT) cloud-based service allows employees to view the vacancy status of the nearest toilet in real time, on either their smartphone or PC, saving employees the time spent waiting for a cubicle to become available.

The app is linked to a magnetic sensor attached to the toilet door, which detects when it is opened and closed, feeding the information back to the app. This information can also be used by office and facility managers looking to plan an efficient cleaning rota or to check how often certain facilities are utilised.

The toilet vacancy management system can even sound an alarm to the administrator 30 minutes after the toilet door has closed, to help prevent accidents or issues.

Here at Employee Benefits, we can see how useful this app could be, especially for the traditional out-the-door queue often found in the ladies toilets! Now if only KDDI could devise an app that notifies when the toilet paper needs to be replaced…