The Future Of Hand Dryers
Commercial hand dryers tend to have an average lifespan of 5 years, but some old workhorses can blast out noisy, hot air for decades without being considered for replacement or upgrade. But, as design and the facilities industries move forward and evolve at a rate of knots, does the humble hand dryer get left behind and should more attention be paid to bathroom hygiene and comfort?
The customer experience is now far more important than ever before. Commercial premises and workplaces need to compete for customers and good employees. Retail and hospitality are on the downturn and businesses need to compete with more discerning and picky customers. The internet brought the birth of online reviews and that means that there is no longer a place to hide from disappointed customers and low reviews mean low foot traffic coming into your establishment. Top talent employees are also searching for businesses who offer more comfortable work experience and staff benefits. The environment, sustainability and hygiene are increasingly becoming a priority in the decision-making process for all Australians, whether it’s where to eat, or where to make a solid career.
With this in mind, hand dryers of the future will not be left as an afterthought. Hand dryers of yesterday were deemed as little more than a bathroom necessity, stuck on a wall at the end of a fit out without much thought to usability and customer behaviour. Designs are already out there in the marketplace which fit seamlessly into commercial building design and offer so much more than just a hot or cold blast of air.
High-quality hand dryers of today now have HEPA filters, low noise mechanisms and drastically reduced power consumption. There are also models with ion technology which neutralises odours and reduces the spread of germs and bacteria. Hand dryer manufacturers today work with architects and facilities managers to continually improve and create models which fit perfectly into the modern workplace, from streamlined moulding, inbuilt drainage, to even a range of pre-wrap colours . Gone are ugly white boxes jammed on the walls at the end of a row of sinks. Quick dry technology is also at the forefront offering faster dry times, fewer slips and drips on bathroom floors and an overall improvement in customer turnaround and comfort.
So, with the humble hand dryer already a far cry from the standard models of a decade ago, where will the future take it? Makes and models of hand dryers will continue to evolve with a focus on reduced energy consumption and minimum impact on the environment. They will continue to change in design as our living and working spaces change and update. Innovation is key and it will be exciting to see the new designs, makes and models which will enter the hand dryer industry over the next 5 years.
One thing is for certain; hand dryers are not ready to switch off just yet!