The reception desk is one of the very first things that potential clients, job candidates and all your employees tend to see when visiting your office or business. This should mean that most companies make the most of their reception desk designs, but in fact, this is not always the case.
Too many businesses resort to using basic furniture that feels bland, and often too small for the space, resulting in a less-than-ideal situation, not just for your receptionists, but also for potential clients that immediately feel something is a little off.
In this article, we will go over 5 steps in order for any business to achieve a coherent and well thought out desk reception area, so if you are interested in improving your first impression, increasing the comfort for your receptionists, and in general just upgrading the look and feel of you office, then feel free to read on!
1. First impressions matter
The reception is one of the most important areas when it comes to office interiors. After all, this is where new customers, partners, suppliers and employees visit, and create their first impression of the company overall. These first few moments are critical, so the reception design better be done right.
When choosing furniture, office chairs, light fixtures and other decorative items, be sure to consider what messages the various pieces convey, and try to create a consistent pattern throughout your choices.
A tech startup might make better use of a modernly designed reception desk with all the bells and whistles, while a law firm could opt for something more traditional to instill a sense of calm professionalism.
At the same time, it is important to consider the comfort of the receptionist. After all, if your receptionist looks like they are in pain from the badly designed office chair, that will put a damper on any reception design, no matter how nice it looks.
2. Should still be practical
This leads us on to our second step. Practicality. By this we mean that not only should the reception desk look nice, it should serve the necessary functions required. This includes a comfortable working environment for the receptionist, in order to ensure a content employee and good first impression.
But not all receptionists are there just to greet new visitors. Some reception designs should also take into account the various technologies needed, such as a place for a computer screen, one or more phones, and possibly an option for visitors to use part of the desk for writing receipts or signing into the visitor logs.
3. Use materials and furniture that are easy to keep clean
Not only should the reception area look beautiful in terms of the design, preferably it should also be easy to maintain. This means looking at certain materials over others, and perhaps ignoring that stunning glass desk, in favor of an easier to clean wooden top.
Your visitors and employees will pick up on the cleanliness of the area right away, and often without even thinking about it make up their mind about the entire office. Once more, that means a reception desk of glass might not be the best choice, if you need to hide clutter behind the desk, or have a lot of cables lying around there.
Laminate is a relatively inexpensive option that can have a great look, and easily can be cleaned, but remember to also keep in mind the first impression. A high-end company might be better suited with higher quality materials, even though it might be more difficult to maintain.
4. Be bold and creative with colors and designs
This is the place to experiment with bright colors, modern design elements and other decorative accessories. Did your business receive a large painting as a gift from that happy client last year? Hang it here and you will instantly have a reason to mention your previous success story when inviting new potential clients over.
Another great way to make use of this space is to add a lounge area, possibly complete with a coffee machine and a flat screen for entertainment while your guests are waiting for their meeting. This can help ease the tension for job candidates, and make prospective clients appreciate the extra thought of comfort for your guests.
5. Use the reception as a partition
Depending on the design of the rest of your office, using the reception as a way to create a partition can be a great way to save some costs, and make a more functional workplace.
If your company often has people waiting in the lounge around the reception, it can be a good idea to choose a larger reception desk, possibly with a wall or other screen behind it, in order to block out sounds from your employees, and vice versa.
Do keep in mind that designing a reception area with heavy traffic can be difficult, as you need to not only ensure a good flow, but also keep in mind that your receptionist can become distracted while working, if there continually are people walking past them.
By taking this into account, it will make your receptionist feel more appreciated, and thus improve morale and productivity as well.