6 Tips to Survive Your Dental Office Expansion
Posted by HJT Design
Surviving a major dental office expansion could equal an exercise in stress management. But there is good news. There are some easy steps you can take that will minimize the strain and tension for you and your staff during this transitional time. It is possible to make your project enjoyable and stress-free.
What follows are 6 important tips to ensure your office expansion comes to completion without added frustrations.
Have a Timeline
The most important thing you can do during a dental office expansion is to work with your contractor to set dates, times, and goals. These are all things that you’ll want to know to help plan for the future, and to make the process stress-free. By setting good calendars into place and sticking to a schedule, you and your staff will not be stuck wondering what projects will take place when, and how long it will be until life will return to the way it once was. Make sure you’re sharing information with staff, clients, and customers so that they know when to expect projects to be complete.
Create a communication plan for patients and employees. You need to their expectations. Any change brings with it potential anxieties, particularly when the impact is not well understood. Presenting plans, renderings, and sample boards can communicate the vision and intent of the renovations is a good way to get the news out and dispel concerns. Let the staff know about the work schedule, and provide tours and updates during construction can keep staff feeling in the loop as the work progresses.
Reduce the Mess
Before renovating your current office space, make certain that relocating isn’t a better option. One of the most frustrating things during an office expansion or renovation is the dust and mess. Drywall and flooring can create quite a mess around a normally spic and span office. Not to mention that dust makes working conditions difficult. If you are working during construction it may be wise to work around your construction provider so patients and employees are not exposed to too much dust. Also make sure you are in the know on what kind of mess will be created and whose responsibility it is to clean it. Additional janitorial services may be required, and that could be your responsibility, not the contractors.
Don’t Try to Do Everything at Once
Consider a multi-step, phased expansion, rather than tackling the entire property at once. This is especially important if you are renovating your existing office. A phased plan also provides flexibility in cash flow and financing and greater variety in lease agreements, which can reduce financial risk to the owner or developer.
Establish Budget Contingencies
Sticking to a budget can be one of the most frustrating things about an office expansion. A rule of thumb is to start with a 10 percent design contingency in the budget, which may be reduced as the work is developed. An additional 10 percent is often dedicated as a construction contingency. Having an experienced construction professional as part of the team during the design process is the best way to ensure potential budget busting issues are taken into account.
Be sure to stay positive during construction. Also encourage your employees to remain positive during the renovations. Remind them what the goals are, and what the finished project will bring. A modernized office with up to date fixtures and facilities make for better work life and happier employees, just make sure they know during renovations that there are good things on the horizon.
At HJT Dental Design Consultants, designing and creating successful office spaces for dental practices is our passion. We have experience in office expansions and renovations of all sizes and complexity. Whether you’re looking to expand your office, modernize it and bring it up to date, we have you covered. Schedule a consultation and let us walk you through transforming your office space into something truly special.