Healthcare companies are finally paying attention to their own staff’s comforts. Dedicated spaces for workers are getting a much needed redesign, all in an effort to punch up employee productivity as well as recruitment and retention.

The trend has translated to a number of design demands, from break rooms that look more like business-class lounges to nurses’ stations designed to support an optimal work environment.

“Reducing stress and fatigue, and providing ergonomically supportive spaces, are now top-level goals,” confirms Carolyn BaRoss, design principal and firmwide healthcare interior design director for Perkins+Will, New York.

Historically, the design of staff spaces came as an afterthought, with dedicated areas often carved out of windowless corners.  Today, healthcare employee real estate is now considered during the design phase of development.

“It’s less about allocated square footage per person and more about the way in which spaces are organized, and where and how they can be strategically located within the facility to maximize flexibility and add value,” BaRoss agrees.

As for location of break rooms, convenient access from work areas is important. However, available space in proximity to patients is generally limited, so optimally siting these rooms can be a challenge, Schilling says.

It is critical to separate staff rooms from patient care and treatment areas. There’s also a need to provide staff with the distance required to refresh and recharge.

Even in light of tight capital budgets, concern for staff is expected to remain high on agendas. Learn how healthcare staffrooms are being redesigned and helping in employee wellbeing and retention. (Image via Shutterstock)

Source:  Barbara Horwitz-Bennett  | Staff Support: Designing Optimal Healthcare Work Environments | 21 July, 2014  |

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