Office receptions fulfil a vital and multi-functional role, on the one hand a practical area for meeting and greeting visitors; on the other, a statement space that communicates your brand and sets the tone for meetings and other interactions. While the office reception may at times be underused, the importance of this area and the impression it makes cannot be underestimated. This ia according to Phil Green, Managing Director of CBS Office Interiors.
Creating the ‘Wow Factor’ in your reception area
The desire to make a big impression is something we hear regularly from clients, and the reception area is the place to do it. Chris Horne from office furniture design firm, Clarke Rendall, one of CBS’s suppliers, says ‘it’s all very well wanting the ‘wow’ factor but that can be very subjective. So we work hard with our clients to ensure we understand what that means to them, and how we can create a space that makes the right impression.’
Should you invest more in your reception area?
Chris Horne said, “it depends on the number of visitors and type of business as not all organisations can justify staff in a reception area. For corporate businesses looking to make an impression it’s vital, and can set the right tone for a meeting.”
Phil Green added, “one way to think around this issue of investing in a reception area that doesn’t get a huge amount of traffic is to find alternative ways to use the space.
Reception Desk Design Trends
- Metallic and Wood Finishes Phil said, “At Clerkenwell Design Week we saw evidence of a growing trend for metal finishes and Clarke Rendall are also seeing increased demand for steel, copper and bronze. Wood was also a design trend we picked up, especially juxtaposed with metallic finishes.” Chris added, “Plywood finishes have increased in popularity too; it’s a great material as it’s strong and the panel edges need no finishing. Reclaimed wood is another niche finish that has been specified on several projects.”
- Low Level Counters Chris said, “we find we’re supplying more desks with low level counters. For a long time, clients always wanted to hide their computer monitors under a countertop, which results in towering fortresses. But with desktop technology becoming sleeker, that’s not such an issue anymore. Having a clear view between staff and visitors is an important requirement.”
Key features when designing a reception area
The reception area is a great opportunity to communicate the company’s brand. The following is a list of features to consider when designing a reception area:
- Reception desk: a practical, hardwearing desk that looks great in your overall design but also provides storage, a DDS recess, data and power requirements and other equipment.
- Ergonomic chair for receptionist: if you want your reception staff to provide visitors with the right welcome, it makes sense to ensure they are seated comfortably.
- Seating area: depending on your organisation you may need to provide seating for just one or two people on occasion, or regularly host larger groups. Factor in whether your reception area will be used for other purposes such as informal meetings or a meet and greet area, and furnish it accordingly.
- Branding: what opportunities are there to reflect your company brand in your reception area? This could be a lightbox set into the reception desk with your logo, standout wall graphics, or subtler elements that convey your brand such as the colours used on soft furnishing and other surfaces.
- Hospitality: even a short wait can feel endless if you haven’t got anything to do, so make your visitors feel more welcome by providing refreshments such as free drinks machines, fruit and snacks. Free WiFi is increasingly the norm, and allows visitors to check emails or get on with work while they wait to be attended to. Our team are always grateful when we spot a charging station after a long journey; allowing visitors to charge their mobile devices may also help your meetings go more smoothly.
- Entertainment: visitors also welcome some distractions when waiting in reception areas. Digital wall displays can be used to entertain and reinforce your company message, or tablets can be provided for guests to check in or find out more about the business. Lower tech options include providing reading material in the reception area, such as company information, industry publications or magazines.
If you would like to talk to our team about your office reception area, or any other part of your building please contact us on 01344 290290 or email firstname.lastname@example.org