Workspace design – Stuart Clark

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  Posted by: The Probe      3rd November 2019

You are most likely one of many employers and employees in the UK who spends just over 37 hours a week at work.[i] As such, you probably value your physical workspace as much as your home environment. Yet, workspace design is easily overlooked as a key aspect of developing a successful business – one that both attracts and retains talented staff. According to a recent survey, a third of UK-based workers believe that their office is outdated, uninspiring and in need of a complete refurbishment. One in five workers have also said that they would be more productive at work if their office was better designed. In other words, approximately a fifth of employees within any organisation are underperforming as a direct result of workplace design.[ii]

It’s no secret that the conditions in which we work can have a demonstrable impact on our overall job satisfaction. The right workspace can make it easier for employees to complete tasks quickly and effectively, work more collaboratively and creatively, and can have a positive effect on their general health, wellbeing and engagement within a company. This is as relevant within the dental practice as any other business. If you fail to consider the design of the workspaces within your surgery, you could be missing out on the opportunity to improve staff performance, as well as the quality of the service you provide. There are some key elements to consider as part of designing the ideal workspace.

Aesthetics

You want to provide a work environment that is welcoming and appeals to both staff and patients. The aesthetic within your practice plays an important role in this regard, comprising of everything from colour and lighting, to décor and furniture. You should aim for an aesthetic that reflects your practice brand, but also creates an ambience in the workspace that engages and motivates your employees, whilst ensuring they feel comfortable and relaxed. The same philosophy applies to patients, who will also form an initial impression of your business from the aesthetic you choose for your surgery. Some of the most inviting dental practices balance warm and cold colours, as well as natural and artificial light, in order to boost mood and enable staff to work more efficiently. It is important to be aware of regulatory requirements when choosing furnishings for your practice to ensure that it remains fully compliant.

Functionality

Workspace design can often focus too heavily on style, leaving functionality overlooked. It makes sense that workspaces should be practical for both you and your employees in order to streamline workflows. This involves making the best use of the available space and optimising the layout of your surgery. Ideally, workspaces within the practice should always have a purpose, and equipment should be positioned in a way that ensures everything is easily accessible when required. It might also be worth investing in designated storage facilities to help free workspaces from clutter, but make sure to avoid cramming too many things into one area. Cramped spaces can quickly make staff feel as though they are working on top of one another, and can also obstruct access throughout the practice, adversely affecting collaboration and engagement among team members. When it comes to workspace design, form should always follow function. 

Ergonomics

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are some of the most common reasons for sickness absence from work, accounting for approximately 30.8 million working days lost in 2016.[iii] Sickness absence can have a costly impact on your business, but by taking advantage of ergonomic solutions within your practice, you can reduce the risk of sickness absence due to MSDs. This involves making sure that tools are easily accessible to prevent staff from having to stretch or strain to reach them. It is also important to invest in high quality dental equipment that can effectively support staff throughout the working day. An experienced surgery design and dental equipment supply company will be able to help you optimise your surgery so that it achieves the right balance between aesthetics, functionality and ergonomics. Clark Dental has the knowledge and expertise to plan and manage every stage of your project – from initial design, to equipment installation and after-sales support – providing you with the peace of mind that the project will be completed to the highest standard.

Having the ideal workspace within the dental practice can have a number of positive effects, including increased productivity, employee job satisfaction, engagement, talent recruitment, and brand impact. Given the myriad of ways one can design a surgery, clinicians should approach the process methodically, and consider the key elements involved with creating a work environment that is suited to the needs and preferences of both staff and patients. Employing an experienced surgery design company to guide you through this process will help to ensure you benefit from an aesthetic, functional, and ergonomic workspace.

 

For more information, call Clark Dental on 01268 733 146, email info@clarkdental.co.uk or visit www.clarkdental.co.uk

 

[i] Office for National Statistics. (2019) Average actual weekly hours of work for full-time workers (seasonally adjusted). Link: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/timeseries/ybuy/lms. [Last accessed: 08.07.19].

[ii] K2 Space. (2018) Meeting Expectations: What Employees Really Expect From Their Workplace. Link: https://k2space.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/K2-Report-Meeting-Expectations-Report-2.pdf. [Last accessed: 08.07.19].

[iii] Office for National Statistics. (2017) Sickness absence in the UK labour market: 2016. Link: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2016. [Last accessed: 08.07.19].


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