Remodeling Your Office to Accommodate Your Patients
The design of your dental or medical office sets the tone for your facility. Seeing your doctor or dentist can sometimes be nerve-wracking which can make patients feel uncomfortable and agitated. In order to help make your patients feel more at ease during their visit, your office remodel should feel calm and relaxing. Make your patients feel more comfortable with these office remodel tips!
Renovations to Consider
Lighting is an important feature to consider when thinking about your patients comfort. Bright fluorescent lights are often harsh and overwhelming on the eyes and can cause discomfort such as headaches or even vision difficulties. For your office remodel, choose overhead lighting that will properly brighten up a room, without being too hard on the eyes. Use a mix of direct and indirect light. Direct lighting should be used in areas where exams take place or where paperwork is filled out. Use indirect light from windows and doors in areas such as the waiting room to keep the environment calm and relaxing. The use of LED lights is a great alternative to fluorescent lighting for a number of reasons:
- LED lights are much more energy efficient and last longer than fluorescent bulbs.
- While LEDs cost more to purchase, they will save you money on your energy bill and you will end up buying these less frequently which also saves money.
- LED bulbs are also better for creating directional light, whereas fluorescent lighting is better suited for lighting up big, wide, open rooms such as warehouses.
A room with artwork and color on the walls feels more inviting than a white room with blank walls. You want to make your patients feel as welcome and comfortable as possible, so give your office build out some life with color and art. The colors you choose for your office should reflect your style, without being over the top. You don’t want your patients to feel overwhelmed with brightly colored walls and abstract art. Instead, try to incorporate art and colors that appeal to the eye and create a soothing atmosphere. Neutral colors like tan or gray, mixed with some greens and blues are relaxing and often remind people of nature. Go a step further and bring some nature inside! Add plants that will sustain an office environment such as spider plants or philodendrons.
When considering seating arrangements for your patients, comfort is your main goal. A doctor or dentist visit starts in the waiting room and this atmosphere can affect how a patient feels before an appointment. Waiting can cause anxiety and nervousness so creating a comfortable space to wait in will really reflect on the overall experience of the visit. Avoid plastic chairs that are hard and lack cushion. Also try to avoid oversized love-seats. While love-seats may be comfortable to sit on, they can create a sense of awkwardness. Unless you know the person sitting next to you on the love-seat, you’ll probably feel uncomfortable sitting in such close proximity to a stranger. Instead, opt for separate chairs that can sustain a lot of use and have cushions for comfier seating. Make sure the seating incorporates well with the decor of the room so the room feels put together and relaxing.
Instead of sticking to the same uniformity of placing chairs in a row along the wall, mix up your layout. This may be difficult to do in some spaces, given the size or shape of the room, but for rooms that are big and open you can be more creative. Make an office for your patients to feel comfortable in by offering different areas to accommodate each individual’s needs. You can create an area with toys for children to keep busy, a quieter area for those who want to be alone, and an area for groups of a few or more people to sit together. The idea is to make your patients wait feel more comfortable and taking out the clinical and uniform layout of your waiting room can be a good way to start.
Consider the overall atmosphere of your office. Is it too quiet? Too loud? Does it feel busy and overwhelming, or is it calm and relaxed? Walking into an office that is noisy can be stressful, and an office that you can hear even the slightest movements can make you feel uncomfortable, so try to find a happy medium. Integrate some music or even a television into the waiting room and keep the volume low enough to still hear, but not high enough that it’s distracting to your guests. Choose something neutral that is appropriate for all audiences to view or listen to. This will allow your patients to focus on something other than silence, without making them feel overwhelmed.
Are you considering an office remodel? Get in contact with us! At the very least we can lend you some extra information and educate you further regarding your options. We are proud Northern Nevada community partners and we’re here to help! Connect with Stryker Construction today for your office design and office build out needs.