The reception area of your business or office is far more important than you may think. It is the first point of contact with new customers or clients; it is the area that can and will show off your brand first, and it is the place that can make or break a deal.
When designing a reception area, there are a few things to remember that will help you create a space that is not only welcoming but is also the best reflection of your business.
Keep it Relevant
The first thing you need to do is to keep it relevant or appropriate for your business. If you are a marketing agency, you want to add color and fun, but if you are a doctor, a more relaxed and calming space is better for patients who may be sick or worried.
This applies to the furniture as well; a round wood coffee table from RJ is perfect for any reception area, as you can place magazines on it. On the other hand, wingback chairs may seem far too formal.
Make it Welcoming
A reception area should always feel welcoming, no matter what your business is. This can be done by using warm paint on the walls, calming music, a great scent in the air, or something similar.
There is a reason why so many people hate hospital waiting rooms; it is because they are very cold and sterile. If you added some yellow lighting and a hint of a calming scent like jasmine or vanilla to the air, they would become a hundred times more comfortable to sit in.
Reflect Your Business in the Design
Your reception area should reflect what you and your business are all about. As mentioned, if you are a marketing agency, feature some of the campaigns you have done on the walls or on TV screens, for example.
The goal is for potential clients and customers to understand you and what you are about just by sitting and looking around for a few minutes.
Make it Practical
A reception area is not just somewhere where you sit. It is somewhere people wait, chat, have quick meetings, do work, etc. Therefore, arrange the seating in a way that allows people to talk but also be separate, and ensure there are clear signs so that people know where everything is.
You also need to ensure your reception area is accessible to everyone, especially those with disabilities. The area should be open enough for someone who is blind to navigate it easily, as well as open enough for someone in a wheelchair or on crutches to move around.
You never know how busy reception will be on any one day, and therefore you need to do your best to ensure there is enough seating. While you can’t necessarily have seats for everyone, it is more a case of prioritizing seating over other furniture.
While couches are more comfortable, opt for seating that is modular or single seaters, as these are easier to move around and add more of if need be.
Your reception area isn’t just for clients and customers, as it is where your receptionist or reception team will work. It is important to design the reception in a way that prioritizes your receptionist/s and their work.
The area should be easy to move around, everything they need should be nearby, and they should have a clear line of sight across the reception area and to the main entrance.
If you sell a product, you should use your reception area as a place to display what you sell, similar to a mini showroom. Depending on why someone is there, there is a good chance you could turn a potential customer into a paying one.
You can also go the route of using the reception area as a type of museum. You can do this by displaying different versions of your product and showing off how it has improved since it was first made.
No matter what business you are in, there will be multiple occasions when people will be sitting in the reception area for an extended period. While there should be some form of entertainment in your reception, you should adapt it to the type of business you are in.
Once again, if you are a doctor, you don’t want your reception full of loud TVs, as you will put your patients on edge. On the other hand, if you are in the fashion business, TV playing fashion shows and shoots is ideal for what you do.
Depending on your budget and the size of the space you are working with, there are a few amenities you can add to your reception space to make it that much better. The first thing should be standard, and that is a water cooler.
The next should be a coffee and tea station, especially if your reception area doubles as a space for short meetings and chats. An air conditioner and heater should also be included, especially if you live in a country that gets very hot or very cold.