Ask any nine-to-five office dweller about their preferred place of respite from the daily hell that is their job and they’ll have the same answer — the bathroom.
However, if one U.K.-based startup company has its way, the sacred spot may soon become more of a brief pit stop than a hiding place for overwhelmed employees.
The seat of the “StandardToilet,” which is the name of both the evil device and the company that created it, is designed at a 13-degree forward slope, which increases leg strain for those sitting on it, encouraging them to, more or less, cut the crap and get back to work, Wired reports.
“It is estimated that in the United Kingdom alone, extended employee breaks costs industry and commerce an estimated £4B ($5.2B) per annum,” a press release for the toilet states. “Our unique Patent Application, applicable both (in the) UK and worldwide, offers the ability to increase business efficiency and profits through reductions in social media usage.”
Basically, if you’re not s****ing, your employer wants you to get off the pot — and the StandardToilet promises to help with that by making your bathroom experience as mildly uncomfortable as possible.
“Current toilet seats provide a horizontal seating surface,” the company explains. “This enables a user to sit relatively comfortably on the toilet. As a result, a user may spend longer than necessary sitting on the toilet without short-term discomfort. Sitting on a toilet for longer than is necessary is generally undesirable.”
But not with the StandardToilet. After approximately five minutes of sitting on the device, a user’s legs will become strained, similar to pain associated with a “low-level squat thrust,” but “not enough to cause health issues,” Mahabir Gill, founder of StandardToilet, told Wired.
Naturally, people seem pretty unhappy with the design.
“This is violence against the disabled and anyone with (irritable bowel syndrome),” one Twitter user wrote.
“Surely the raise in productivity will correspond with a raise in wages right?” one jested. “Ahahaha just kidding you just hate working people.”
“Good to know that while wages are stagnant, corporate America still has the money to punish workers for a minute of time to themselves,” wrote another user.
The device has even been backed by the British Toilet Association (BTA), a non-profit organization “working to promote the highest standards of hygiene and provision in all ‘away from home’ toilet facilities across the UK.”
To be completely fair, the StandardToilet does claim benefits other than increased revenue for corporations, such as an alleged reduction in the risk of hemorrhoids due to prolonged toilet sitting and reduced bathroom lines at shopping malls and train stations.
But still — let us live our lives in peace.
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