We’ve all heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Yet, we all do that anyway. It’s the same with your business’s reception area. It is the first impression of your brand that visitors see. You don’t want to give the wrong impression. If the area is bleak, cold, and tired, this could convey that your brand is that same, even if it’s not! So your reception needs to act as a warm and welcoming space that shows exactly the type of business you are.
When designing your reception area, think about what message you want to convey. How do you want visitors to think of you? How do you want them to feel? Thinking about these things will help you decide how you want the reception to look. Then you can move onto picking pieces for the room. Here’s some features you should focus on.
The layout of your reception is a very important part of creating an engaging area and facilitating the proper flow of traffic. Place the reception counter in a prominent position that your clients will easily see. Make sure the pathway to the desk is clear, or direct the flow of traffic with navigational signs if needed. Arrange reception seating to be convenient for clients, while also not interfering with the activities of staff. If there’s a TV, place the seating in a convenient location for viewing. Alternatively, you could opt for a meeting table in your reception and place the chairs around that. And always make sure there’s any safety features needed to reduce the risk of slips or injuries.
The furniture in your reception is the biggest contributor to the atmosphere of the room. Choose furniture that represents or compliments your brand well. Choose seating that is cohesive and comfortable. It’s a good idea to test out the seating before purchasing if you can. You’ll want chairs that are comfortable, but not too easy for people to sink into as they’ll only be sitting there a short amount of time. Or if you have older visitors, they’ll need to be able to get out of the seat easily.
You’ll also want a reception desk that the receptionist will feel comfortable sitting down at for 8 hours a day to ensure they don’t miss a call and can welcome visitors confidently. Invest in an ergonomic chair for your receptionist to ensure they don’t experience discomfort in their back and neck.
For the reception desk, make sure it’s a satisfactory height for both visitors and the receptionist. Your visitors will need to be able to easily see over the desk to speak with the receptionist. And the receptionist will need to have room for all necessary equipment such as a computer, phone, files, stationary, and storage.
Natural lighting is the best option for receptions, but most of the time that light will need to be increased with artificial lighting. Natural lighting is more welcoming and easier on the eyes. So choose soft lights that mimic daylight to increase the natural feel and make your reception area look more appealing. Harsh white lights and strip lighting can feel too stark and clinical. Opt for soft white bulbs for the ceiling and compliment with some warm colour light bulbs to create a comforting ambiance. And if you have any flickering or broken lights? Make sure to get them replaced.
Your reception’s decor is the icing on top to ensure the space reflects your brand’s personality. If visitors like your decor, or can feel the effort you’ve put in, this could make all the difference in creating and maintaining relationships with clients. Consider using colours that tie in with your logo and branding. But don’t feel constricted to them, especially if they’re very bold colours. You could always create a colour palette around them with different shades. Or use colour theory to help your visitors feel at ease. Blues and greens are excellent calming colours. While oranges and peaches create a cheerful and lively atmosphere.
There’s many more aspects to consider when designing an attractive reception area. Consider bringing the outdoors indoors with some plants. Most places already now have a QR check in system, but consider also including a digital sign in of your own to easily keep track of visitors even if the receptionist has had to step away. Ensure there’s some sort of entertainment for waiting visitors. Whether that’s a TV, some soft music playing, or magazines or books to read.