Can the Design of Your Office Influence Your Team Performance?
Posted by HJT Design
Dental office design influences any number of factors, from patient perception to physical efficiency to employee morale. In this article, we’ll focus more on the latter two, as both come together to explain the serious impact a good or bad office design might have on your team. We’ll start with an overview, move into regular pitfalls, and then dig deeper into the science and potential of office design.
An Overview of Office Design
It’s important to consider dental office design from a number of angles, as each aspect directly impacts each other, ultimately resulting in the way your employees and patients engage and perceive the environment. You should break down design into a few distinct related categories, to better analyze what you’re working towards and with:
- Visual design. Color choices, lighting, layout, all of these factor into what your office looks like.
- Comfort. Furniture alone doesn’t determine comfort—lighting, layout, and noise matter too.
- Use of space. Most offices doesn’t have infinite space to expand into, so you can’t ignore the importance of leveraging what you have effectively.
- Utility. A beautiful, comfortable office which inconveniences workers or patients regularly isn’t viable dental office design.
Pitfalls of generic design
Generic design in most fields, dental offices included, integrates a number of problematic choices as the ‘standard’. First and foremost, generic design inherently sacrifices the opportunity to create a lasting independent impression in employees’ minds—which in turn makes it hard to engender stronger feelings of loyalty and teamwork.
Generic designs also tend to integrate dated ideas, concepts which worked for earlier understandings of architecture, dental office layouts, patient interaction, etc. It’s not that the ideas weren’t at one point viable, or at least perceived as such, but it’s important to move forward to our best modern understanding of design. Let’s talk for a moment now on what that understanding looks like.
Research on design
As our society becomes increasingly data-driven and heavily researched, our understanding of how office design impacts businesses has grown exponentially. Modern research indicates any number of factors directly impact productivity in any environment, including:
- Ambient noise
Designing towards goals
We talked earlier about dividing the way you look at your dental office design along a few different lines—however, that’s only half the process. When it comes to actually designing the office, rather than analyzing an existing or planned design, it’s best to set these goals and work towards them:
- Motivation and morale. All else aside, a modernized and/or unique layout will improve morale and motivation. It’s also essential in attracting and keeping younger employees, who chafe more than previous generations when working in generic office spaces. Using sound design to ease or eliminate minor frustrations works for everyone.
- Efficiency and convenience. Can machinery, mobile furniture, and supplies be moved easily between rooms or from storage spaces? Are lighting, cabinetry, and other factors sufficient for each room’s intended purpose?
As long as you aim for these two goals in development, your dental office design should achieve much greater heights than it would should you design aimlessly. Once you have a workable design, you can look to see what needs touching up in terms of aesthetic, comfort, utility, etc.
Don’t be afraid to ask your employees directly what frustrates them, what they’d most like to see, or what they want you to avoid doing. Something as simple as regional cultural variations can lead to differences in preferred work spaces.
Regardless of the magnitude and complexity of your project, our staff of experienced professionals are poised and ready to help navigate you through the process and fulfill your specific needs. If you’re not too sure where or how to start with the process, contact HJT to schedule a free consultation for answers and knowledge to prepare and empower you in moving forward with confidence.