Rethinking long-term care office space

During the typical audit of a long-term care building, we find that when we ask the question, “Who do you have in which offices?” the administrator often responds with a blank stare. What should be a simple exercise turns into a treasure hunt for people and their spaces. We then walk the halls and open doors finding that behind most of the locked ones, the spaces have been taken by staff.

The issue (no different than getting one more table in a restaurant and how that affects the bottom line) is minimizing the non-income generating spaces and turning them into income generating spaces.

I will now state the obvious: Offices don’t make money. Not in restaurants, sales, or healthcare.

Providers need to ask design professionals to help the facility create more income generating space while providing functional, pleasing space for the dislocated staff. More income equates to more flexibility in the design finishes, artwork, and furniture.

The best way to handle those broom closets and patient rooms turned offices is to consolidate them into one space. When the rooms do not need to cater to residents or families, they should become efficient systems that use vertical space to their advantage and encourage staff to work instead of hiding behind locked doors. No one is happy about losing a private office. But over time, most associates enjoy working in a team open-office environment.

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