Employees spend around 50% of their waking hours at work, so it’s only natural that they will be more motivated if they are comfortable and happy in their workplace. While some organisations emphasise internal culture, we believe that fostering a productive workplace starts with the flow and design of the space – well before you’ve even hired your first clinician.
This blog will deep dive into all of the construction and design elements that you can employ to boost staff productivity in the clinic or medical centre.
Good structure is one of the most important statements that we can make when fitting out your clinic. Design matters, and it can make or break a workplace for some. Ultimately, workplace productivity isn’t about getting more work done. It’s about getting the job done more efficiently. So, when considering your clinic fit-out, the ultimate goal is to think about how your employees will flow through the space.
Colour, Not Clutter
Colour and decorative elements can be potent tools when fitting out a dental or medical practice. The Harvard Business Review states that “visual complexity is best.” This means that while you want to ensure there is colour, patterns and something visually appealing to the eye in your clinic, you also want to ensure that it is cohesive and minimalistic. It will help employees stay focused on the tasks at hand.
Anything too bare in appearance is unnatural to the brain, but too much clutter or clashing styles can also be an eye-sore. It’s about finding the sweet spot in the middle of the two.
Space is a funny thing, and how you balance that space will dictate the overall flow of the clinic.
This is a principle that dates back to the ancient practices of Feng Shui and still gets used in modern interior design. Intrinsically, rooms that flow naturally help calm the mind and avert attention to the right places without thinking or mentally organising the space. Regardless of whether you are using symmetry or asymmetry, balance is imperative to a productivity-boosting work environment.
Symmetry is known to provide functional clues and direct attention to the focal point of a room. Alternatively, asymmetry keeps the brain interested. It gives visual depth and humanises a space, which can be especially useful if you’re trying to incite a warm and cozy feeling.
In a clinic setting, you must also consider the patient experience. Consider how the waiting room feels upon entry and the distance that patients will have to walk to get from A to B while onsite.
Consider Your Floor Plan
Now, this is something that tends to be out of your control. While you can spend your time looking for the perfect place to set up shop, it’s far more common to be renovating an existing space – or simply confined to what was available at the time. Do not, we repeat, do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of complacency here.
The floor plan is critical to that productivity-boosting flow that we discussed earlier, and it’s a factor that you must consider before even contemplating the interior design of your clinic.
Our advice? Don’t do it yourself!
We can’t stress this enough. If your floor plan is less than average, you may need to put up new walls or partitions, knock down others, add doors or generally alter the space from a construction perspective. Look at the big picture – if you want to boost staff productivity in the clinic for the long run, a limited floor plan is a good way to hit a wall early.
Suppose you don’t have a background in construction. In that case, it’s extremely easy to miss important details of the architecture. Furthermore, you will be solely responsible for drawing up all of the plans, seeking the proper approvals and completing the job to a professional standard. It’s the kind of headache that is better saved for finances or other elements of starting your business.
But Wait, That’s Not All…
If we haven’t sufficiently overwhelmed you with all of the factors that will impact productivity in the workplace, let’s talk about a few other elements that you must consider when fitting out a clinic.
Ensuring that a workplace is ergonomic is quintessential for a good employee experience. Put simply, ergonomics refers to designing or arranging a workplace in accordance with the people who are using them. This is going to be highly individual case by case. Still, all businesses should be considering the physical, organisational and cognitive ergonomics of the clinic to provide employees with the best possible environment to thrive in.
The age-old question in dental and medical fit-outs is whether to include a child-friendly area… And it’s a big yes from us! Whether the child in question is the patient or simply accompanying a parent to their appointment, the chances that they will get bored and cause a commotion in the waiting room is high. Choose several quiet activities such as colouring in and place them in a dedicated space to keep kids under wraps while in the clinic.
Privacy isn’t just a luxury. It’s essential in this line of work. The best way to ensure privacy at all times is to separate rooms by their purpose. Keep records in a specific area designated for records. See patients in small spaces or cubicles and only store the practitioner’s tools in this room. Ensure that your reception desk is not outward facing or behind a window. These minor considerations will make a significant difference when it comes to privacy.
It’s Not Easy, So What Can You Do?
As you may have realised by now, fitting out a dental or medical practice is not an easy task. So, what can you do to ensure that your new fit-out will promote staff productivity?
Include Your Staff In the Process
If you’ve already got a roster of staff, then you’ve got the ultimate resource to build the perfect space. Include your team in the process by asking for their opinions. Their first hand knowledge will be invaluable to understand how the clinic currently flows, and it will also empower your staff to make the most of the changes once your fit-out is complete.
What Dentifit Can Do For You
As stated earlier, there is a lot to unpack regarding how layout and design impact productivity at work. The best advice we can give is to hire a team of experts to help inform and execute the perfect design for your clinic. Here at Dentifit, we take pride in the rigorous process used to complete all projects, including the design and construction phases of work.