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Tips for Establishing Flexible Office Hours

flexible office hours

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To run a successful dental practice, that means setting apart your practice from your competitors. One way to do this is by offering non-traditional hours for patient care. If you’re considering making this chance to boost your practice, Bryant Consultants came up with this list of factors you should consider.

There are several types of non-traditional hours

  • Extended hours means offering care outside of the normal 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., range.
  • Split shift means dividing your team into two different working shifts, to provide extended hours to your patients.
  • You also may opt to offer weekend hours.

Nontraditional hours can be a great way to entice new patients to join your practice. Patients who work a normal 9-to-5-work week may have trouble getting time off to come in for appointments, and offering these services can be the deciding factor for them when it comes time to choose a dentist.

Nontraditional hours are a perk and should be treated as such

We recommend setting standards for which patients qualify to be scheduled outside of normal working hours. They should be in good standing, meaning they have not canceled or no-showed appointments in the past. They should pay up-front for this appointment, as well.

Make sure you take care of your team about working nontraditional hours

You’ll have to get creative with scheduling if you decide to go this route. You want to make sure you have adequate coverage at all times, and do so without incurring a lot of overtime costs. Some methods could include a variable schedule, which shifts and changes according to patient load. As well as assigning designated hours to each employee, or going with a split-shift system, with one group working in the morning through the early afternoon and another that works the latter part of your extended hours. These are just some examples that may work.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each scheduling strategy. With a variable schedule, your staffing needs may change day-to-day and on extremely short notice. This can be a source of stress for everyone on the team, and many employees may not be able to be as flexible in changing the hours when they work. Assigning set, designated hours keeps things running smoothly, but you may end up overstaffing at times, with too many employees working in relation to the patient workflow. With a split shift, there probably are going to be communication issues between the two different teams, especially if patient care transitions between the two groups at the shift change.

Whatever plan you come up with, make sure that it complies with the payroll and labor laws in your state, and allows you to continue striving toward your business goals.

Maybe you like the idea of offering nontraditional hours, but you’re not sure how to implement the schedule or what it might mean for your team. It may seem impossible to adjust your office hours without it affecting your bottom line, but our consulting can help you work the hours you want and still meet your business goals. The services offered by Bryant Consultants can help you refine your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your business. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799. We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us. We will even come to you!

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