Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 28

DIANE OSAN

Title: Chief Executive Officer
Firm: FKP Architects (Houston)
Number of employees: 88
Healthcare revenue in 2016: $32.1 million
B U S I N E S S C H A L L E N G E : C L I E N T E X P E C TAT I O N S
F O R AVA I L A B I L I T Y A N D R E S P O N S I V E N E S S

Clients' expectations for project team performance, turnaround times, and 24/7 availability is accelerating burnout and
stress. This is especially true for designers with young family
obligations. I'm deeply concerned about the impact this could
have on the health of the profession. In a design world focused
on improving health, we are in many ways doing the opposite.
For example, I recently traveled to meet with a client, landing back home at 10 p.m. on a Friday, only to find a text from that
client reporting that leadership needed our presentation completely reworked and back to them by 8 a.m. on Monday. I responded, noting that they weren't giving us even one business day to perform this task
and that while we would do what we could, I wasn't sure of team availability to rework everything and return it in a quality manner by that deadline.
Our client said he understood the challenges, but that they had to have it.
Not wanting to fail him, we asked our staff to sacrifice time with their families, and they pulled it off-but at the cost of their restoration time. Then
they started the new work week already fatigued, which we know produces
lower-quality performance. If this was an isolated incident it wouldn't be
disturbing, but it's now a frequent behavior from many clients who expect
us to always be available and responsive.
W H AT ' S B E H I N D I T

Healthcare has always been a 24/7 operation, so hospital leaders are used
to having demands placed upon their personal time. However, the U.S. design/construction industry has not, and we can't consistently expect individuals in a lower-paid profession to take on similar requests.
With the introduction of smartphones and the internet, the ability to
reach individuals immediately and get responses instantaneously has set
up expectations that are now behavioral demands. This is compounded by
societal pressure on providers from all healthcare consumers to lower cost,
while improving quality and experience-all the instant we want or need
care. These factors are adding pressure to our collective industry mindset to live by "faster, better, cheaper." Plus, the number of communication
streams that we now work in, monitor, and manage is increasing the time
we spend on tracking and responding to communication rather than solving design problems and improving the work quality. It's a vicious cycle
that isn't good for personal or professional health.
THE SOLUTION

At FKP, we've established a culture that helps employees manage rising industry and societal pressures, while creating time for self-care and family

28

MAY 2017

HCDMAGAZINE.COM

life. It's an embedded value now that includes offerings like flextime, remote work, and protected
focus time. With the use of the cloud, our people
can work anywhere and anytime to respond to
these increased client demands while balancing
family and personal needs.
Recently, we've begun new approaches with
our clients to set and manage communications
and turnaround time expectations, as well as
place limits on what constitutes "reasonable
business hours." We found through client satisfaction surveys that our clients have a wide
range of expectations-sometimes varying
within their own group of managers as well
as between institutions-around what constitutes highly responsive performance from
their design team. Additionally, we saw variance in what communication tools were preferred-phone, text, or email. One client thinks
texting should be used only for the most urgent
communication, while another uses it for every communication and at all hours of the day
and on the weekends. Another client thinks
their architect is being responsive if responding to an email within 24 hours, while another
expects email replies within 48 to 72 hours but
text messages should be answered within 5 to10
minutes.
In response to this, we're now kicking off projects with important conversations about response levels and communication preferences.
We're also having open and respectful conversations about boundaries-for example, it may be
OK with one team member to be contacted anytime, even while on vacation, but another may
have dedicated family time between 5 and 9 p.m.
and will respond only after the kids are tucked
into bed.
We found that having these conversations and
setting boundaries up front help support the
values we hold around work-life integration. We
also tell our staff that it's OK to remind business
partners of these boundaries in order to preserve restoration time. Conversely, we expect
employees to understand when there are times
that our clients or construction partners require
extraordinary effort from us outside routine
business hours. Most clients have been respectful and appreciative-for their own work-life
balance, too.
WORDS OF WISDOM

As a society, we need to unplug more often and
recharge to be our best. Don't be afraid to set reasonable boundaries while being flexible in support of the team mission.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - May 2017

Healthcare Design - May 2017
Contents
Editorial
Photo Tour
Uplifting Design
Healthy Outlook for Green Design
Inside Story
Renovation Experience Reimagined
Product Spotlight Flooring
The Center
Special Supplement
Special Advertising Section
Face Time
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Intro
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Healthcare Design - May 2017
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 1
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 2
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Contents
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 4
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 5
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 6
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 7
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 8
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Photo Tour
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 11
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 12
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 13
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 14
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Uplifting Design
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 16
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 17
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 18
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 19
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Healthy Outlook for Green Design
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 21
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Inside Story
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 23
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 24
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 25
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 26
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 27
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 28
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 29
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 30
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 31
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 32
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 33
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 34
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 35
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 36
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Renovation Experience Reimagined
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 38
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 39
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 40
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 41
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Product Spotlight Flooring
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 43
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 44
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 45
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 46
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 47
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - The Center
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Special Supplement
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 50
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 51
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 52
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 53
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 54
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Special Advertising Section
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 56
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 57
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 58
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 59
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 60
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 61
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 62
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - 63
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - May 2017 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201705
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201611
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201608
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/20160102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201511
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201312
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/healthcaredesign/201308
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com