Washtenaw County has seen a significant growth in the number and variety of physical, occupational, mental health, and counseling practitioners. One factor in choosing the most appropriate office suite for your therapy business is determining whether an office suite floor plan is suitable. Counseling/therapy practices generally locate in office buildings, however, their needs tend to be different than typical office space tenants. In our experience, the general need for a counseling/therapy practice includes a waiting area, a business office/receptionist office, plus multiple rooms set up for the counseling/therapy of patients.
Therapy office suite features that benefit counseling/therapy practices might include:
1. Sound Treatment – Adequate insulation in and above the walls of an office suite allows for reduced sound transfer between offices. It’s preferable that office walls extend above the ceiling of the building. Solid core doors with weather stripping are more insulating than hollow core doors. Many tenants add white noise devices and other similar features in order to create the quietest possible environment for the privacy of their patients’ conversations.
2. Privacy – Establish a waiting area that can provide privacy for your patients upon entrance and a check in/check out system that is sensitive to their privacy needs. Some professionals also prefer routes to and from their offices that does not expose them to waiting patients. The office layout and traffic flow of your professionals and clients can impact the office procedures greatly. Being thoughtful to the in-office flow can bring ease and efficiency to a business maintaining strict privacy policies.
3. Room sizes – Whereas a standard office tenant might design private offices 100 SF – 140 SF for single workers, counseling/therapy offices most often need to be larger to allow for the professional, plus one or more patients so they can comfortably occupy the office. These often range in size from 140 SF – 220 SF. When determining office size, bear in mind the furniture or equipment you expect each office must accommodate.
In short, finding an office that addresses your therapy business needs is largely contingent on the features required. Be sure to share your needs with your commercial real estate agent so that they can provide you the appropriate opportunities for your future space! – Bart Wise, Associate Broker