The reception area is the entrance to your business, and generally, the first impression clients get of your business up close. The longer your clients and visitors are likely to sit here, the more important that the area create a comfortable and enjoyable experience. In 2020, we must add to that, a “safe” experience as well, especially as pertains to your employees. Businesses that rely significantly on a reception area for guests, potential hires, VIPS, and clients, should go the extra mile to ensure waiting and being received is pleasant, safe for all concerned, and says or presents something about your brand..
That being understood, there are a number of common elements that make for outstanding reception area’s, even on a limited budget. Here’s a few thoughts from the experts at BE.
Invest in a Proper Reception Desk
Reception desks are very specific pieces and come in all shapes and sizes from a wide variety of different manufacturers. Reception desks are generally a bit higher than a normal desk and can go from between 28” and 34” high. Key considerations include whether there will be more than one receptionist, will they stand or sit? What kinds of work will they be doing when there is no one to receive? What kind of phone system will you have and will the desk require a computer, special video, building management consoles, or other equipment? At BE we help companies select from hundreds of styles with all these capabilities and more, even custom built items.
The reception desk is functional for sure but it should have a style consistent with your brand and the impression you are trying to create. Stability, for a law firm, and creativity for a marketing firm, etc…
New to some reception desks in 2020 are sneeze guards though many desks used in the healthcare industry have long had these in some form or another. A sneeze guard is typically a clear acrylic barrier that is both easy to clean and prevents direct exchange of bodily fluids however they may be discharged. These can be easily retrofitted to most existing reception desks so no need to chuck out your old furniture if it suits you in all other respects. Sneeze guards on your reception desk protect your clients but mostly they protect your employee’s and are probably something that will be around now, long after COVID-19 is done.
Seating choices in your reception area are dictated by a number of things:
- How many people will be waiting simultaneously?
- How long will they typically wait?
- How often is your reception area used?
- How comfortable do you want it to be?
- Are your visitors typically alone or in groups?
Your answers to the above questions may dictate whether you use couches or chairs, how separate the areas are, whether they share lighting and tables while they wait.
Then there are the matters of color, company brand style, durability of fabrics and for 2020 the cleanability of the furniture and materials used. As the area with the highest potential for bringing uninvited microbes into your business, your reception seating needs the most diligent cleaning protocols of any area of your company. New furniture and materials make this much easier, while allowing you the diversity of colors, patterns and materials to design to your heart’s content.
In a recent study “Impact of color on marketing,” it was found that up to 90% of choices made about a particular product or brand all other things being equal, are based on color alone. Your reception area is a gateway to your business, and your color choices need to be deliberate based on what you are trying to acheive. Do you want a calm, functional space? Then look for mostly natural, muted colors and add accents of color with chosen pieces. Do you want to be dramatic? Then rich, vibrant colors are the key. Whatever your choice, it should be consistent with your brand image, and the impression you are trying to create.
Make sure your reception area is up to date with modern lifestyles. People often want to recharge – their phones, laptops, earbuds, or iPads while waiting. Install easily accessible USB or power outlets wherever you can. A key element to a modern reception area is good Wifi. Your customers won’t mind the long wait as much, if they have a hot coffee, a place to charge their device, and good Wifi.
Consider investing in signature items in your reception area that makes space truly yours. Things like fresh bouquets, a functional art piece from a local gallery, a bold company graphic, or a statement chandelier can leave a big brand impression.
Businesses don’t need to sacrifice their style to make a reception area accommodating. Spend time and the money to make this room as clean and welcoming as possible while keeping your company style and brand present
Modern Reception Design Ideas for the New Office Reality
BE Furniture is a full-service corporate office design and contemporary office furniture company, offering a wide range of environmentally-sensitive, healthcare conscious, and innovative products for reception areas and so much more.