Agile Workforce Design: Optimising Your Dental & Medical Office for Comfort and Function
If you’re designing an office in 2019, you will need to know how to maximise the benefits you receive from your work and business space. This means tuning into the must-know office fitout trends for this year.
In this modern era of agile working, flexibility and originality are demanded in the workplace, as these spaces shift to accommodate new ways of thinking, working and being. The younger generation who are entering the workplace now or who are new to it – Gen Y (Millennials) and Z – are also bringing fresh new ways of working.
Aspects of Agile Working
The environment is important to agile workers – it needs to be inspirational as well as comfortable. Coming to work should be an experience that inspires and motivates. They also expect to connect with people – so think about designing communal areas for work and socialisation, as well as quiet spaces for tasks that require concentration.
Agile working is also about the ability to connect quickly in any location. This means out with the old – claustrophobic cubicles or rows upon rows of identical desks – and in with the new – flexible spaces, pods for privacy and open areas where your employees can mingle and exchange ideas. It’s also about making the most of new technologies in a day and age where wireless is standard and we are not tied to the nearest power outlet.
Agile also means being flexible enough to meet your clients’ needs. So, if you are planning an office fitout, for example, you need to put your patients’ increasingly sophisticated requirements at the heart of your design.
Designing for Agile Working in Your Dental & Medical Centre
Essentially, agile working is about using your workspace in a way that your employees and clients respond well to, making the most of their abilities, their strengths and their likes. The same concept applies when designing a medical centre. Coming to work or an appointment should be a comfortable, relaxing, enjoyable, stress-free environment. You want your employees to work efficiently and your patients to feel well-treated during their stay.
Let’s take a look at some of the key office fitout trends driven by the agile workforce.
Modern, flexible consult booths
No one wants to work in an uninspiring area, so ditch any ideas about a boring office with 4 walls, instead think about installing a consult booth in your practice. These are soundproofed, self-contained spaces that accommodate one or two, or maybe a few people. When you need to complete a task in private or conduct a private one-to-one meeting, simply use the booth. The beauty of some booths are that they are flexible in their configuration and can be moved around, so you aren’t stuck with a fixed design.
To enhance the effectiveness of the practice operations, open zones are worth the investment, where staff members and patients feel comfortable exchanging details and rebooking appointments. Remember that big, bulky reception desks are a thing of the past. Try organizing the space so that the faces of the receptionists are seen over the counter top, giving both staff members and receptionists a real sense of shared space and collaboration. The space needs to flow in this area giving both the patients and staff members understanding that they are free to move around the area, inturn reducing the cramped and confronting feeling.
Chill-out and relaxation areas
If the space is adequate enough to fit in a large staff room, the answer is do it. Large staff rooms or in the Agile language “chill-out and relaxation area’s” are perfect for a break from work or for informal meetings. These spaces should suggest comfort, ease and a feeling of relaxation, so think about adding sofas and comfy chairs, a kitchen area with a fridge and even hanging up a dart board, this to encourage your workforce to take time out, and so increase their overall productivity.
Nowadays, we are all well aware of the benefits of bringing nature into the design. When you’re designing a space, think about how you can maximise natural light and minimise obstructions such as light-blocking blinds or curtains. There is a whole range of alternatives out there for etched or patterned glass to promote privacy and separation that allow natural light to flood to your workplace and boost its feel-good factor.
Greenery immediately gives your workspace an appealing, cared-for and homely look, cleaning the air and stimulating creativity. Add hardy indoor plants such as the peace lily (spathiphyllum), mother-in-law’s tongue (sansevieria) or yucca (yucca elephantipes) which require minimum maintenance, or add an eye-catching display of hanging plants to catch on to the latest trend of vertical gardens.
Customised, responsive waiting spaces for patients
Being in the medical or dental field, giving your clients an enhanced experience in the waiting room is key. The first rule of maximising your space is to do your research. What kind of interests do your clients have? If your practice is in a well-heeled area, you may find that your core client group is into health-enhancing activities such as yoga. Why not offer them a stretching area instead of hard seating? You can add to the ambience by playing meditative music and offering herbal teas, fresh fruit and water.
It follows that if your clientele consists mostly of young females, influenced by style and beauty, you can tailor your space to their needs. Have up-to-date glossy magazines artfully arranged, offer a beauty refresh counter, an elegant feel and appealing spaceperfect for selfies to share on social media.
This is true for both your employees and patients. None of us can live without connectivity these days, so both groups will appreciate easily accessible free Wi-Fi and plenty of charging stations.
For patients attending appointments, it’s good to remember that they are taking valuable time away from work to visit you. Offer them an environment where they can get on with their work while waiting, with quiet areas where they can get their laptop out or make a few calls. This gives the message that you appreciate how important their time is, and are committed to providing what they need.
It’s clear that there’s a lot to think about when it comes to designing an office, dental or medical fitout, and that the old ways are no longer relevant as we move through 2019. For a tailored fitout matched to your business’ exact needs, get a helping hand from a bespoke office design company that mirrors the unique character of your business and creates an inviting environment designed for success.
Bespoke Medical and Dental Office Fitouts from Dentec
As one of Australia’s leading fitout companies, Dentec Design Fitout Service will guide you along every step of the way, from initial planning, project managing, sourcing equipment and providing a holistic, tailor-made solution to your individual needs. Contact us today to find out how we can support your business goals by providing an attractive, customised environment perfect for your needs.