Reception Area – The Power of a First Impression

WRITTEN BY rightsize

A reception area should give visitors a positive first impression and send the right message about your company. It’s also a space employees walk through every day and should set the tone for the work day. Furniture, artwork and flooring all need to come together to project the right image.

“One of the first questions I ask clients is how often they have visitors and how long they are waiting to see someone,” said Rightsize Workplace Solutions Director Shannon Filo. “Then, I can guide them in decisions such as how much seating is appropriate, what type of seating and how much artwork is needed. If clients will be sitting in a reception area for an extended period of time, then you want more comfortable seating, something visually interesting for them to look at and you might include something like a coffee station. Understanding how the space will be utilized is key.”

Six things every reception area should incorporate:

  1. A well thought-out layout – The reception area should be clean and uncluttered, with furnishings spaced so that visitors are not crowded together but close enough to create a welcoming environment. Position the reception desk to face the front door, but far enough so it doesn’t act as a barrier to the space. Be sure your reception desk has ample storage and try to keep the reception area closed off so that packages and deliveries can be tucked away.

“The reception area will give your clients a good understanding of what your office is about, just by walking through your front doors,” said Rightsize Workplace Solutions Manager Heather Conard. “Keeping first impressions top-of-mind, we advise our clients to make reception spaces count!”

  1. Comfortable and stylish furnishings – Furniture and artwork should reflect the overall style and color scheme of the rest of the office. The reception desk is the centerpiece. Provide adequate seating for the number of visitors your company may have at any particular time. Artwork should be tasteful and displayed sparingly.

“The desks we are seeing are very modern,” said Filo. “I’ve seen multi-level desk designs that look like cool, modern sculptures. Linear desks are also popular. To add a bit of style, we’re incorporating Plexiglas into our desk designs, adding backlighting and putting the company logo on the front.”

  1. Company branding – Use your reception area to reflect the company brand. If the company logo is not featured prominently, consider using elements of the logo or similar colors to incorporate into the space.

“Branding is really crucial,” said Conard. “It’s an important element of a company’s culture and what they want to portray. Tying in logo colors in the reception area is a good way to reinforce company branding.”

  1. Positive atmosphere – Whether your reception area is welcoming new or repeat clients or prospective employees, the space should look professional, welcoming and stylish.

“There is a trend toward reception areas with a residential tone so that clients feel welcomed,” said Conard. “You also want to provide an environment that employees find comforting as they walk into the office.”

  1. Functional space – Furniture should be appropriate for the specific business and clients being served. Install lighting that won’t create a harsh glare, but is bright enough for visitors to read and fill out needed paperwork.

“Every building has standard lighting,” said Filo. “Our team at Rightsize can enhance your lighting by adding unique fixtures such as pendant lights and chandeliers, something with interesting architectural features.”

  1. Durability – Flooring and furnishings should be durable to withstand frequent use and should be stain resistant. Use mats and runner rugs in inclement weather and provide coat racks or closets to keep wet outerwear off the furniture.

“A lot of clients are changing up the floor in the reception area, and our Facility Flooring division offers plenty of options,” said Filo. “If you’re installing carpeting throughout the main space, consider vinyl plank flooring in the reception area to change things up.”

Ready to make a positive first impression? Call Rightsize for help planning and furnishing your reception area: 800-815-8592.

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