They say that first impressions count and this is never more relevant than in the business world. You have just one chance to impress visitors arriving at your office, so creating the perfect reception area is a project well worth investing plenty of time and money in. Here are some ideas to get you started.
The ‘Wow’ factor
Redesigning your reception area gives you a fabulous opportunity to rethink your entire office entrance and include some statement pieces to impress your visitors and provide the perfect talking point. So invest in some vibrant artwork or choose bold colours for your walls or furniture. Can you install an awards cabinet or have rolling VT to showcase your products or services? How about bringing in some large plants? We don’t just mean the odd spider plant either. How about some five foot tall ferns in beautiful plant pots to add a stunning green effect?
Time to mean business
Adding ‘wow’ factor to your reception area is all very well, but it shouldn’t detract from the reason why your office exists in the first place. The vast majority of your visitors are coming to interact with you and your colleagues in a business setting and the seriousness of your venture and their presence at your office should also be emphasised. Make sure the receptionist’s desk is neat, tidy and streamlined to show a productive work ethic right from the start. Choose appropriate magazines and newspapers to have out for waiting visitors and take advice regarding the most appropriate level of security required, from signing-in books and turnstiles to scanners and CCTV.
Are you sitting comfortably?
Another important area to get right when it comes to reception areas is the seating provided for your visitors while they wait to be collected for their meeting. Too soft and comfortable and they may find it hard to get up again, or may start to feel drowsy. Too hard and they will not feel welcome. Make sure you have enough seats available for your expected number of visitors and don’t forget to allow space for visitors who use wheelchairs or other mobility aids so they can wait in comfort as well.
It is a nice touch to offer your visitors a hot drink or glass of water while they wait, so ensure you have the right facilities to make beverages nearby. A chilled water dispenser is a nice touch, as it allows visitors to fetch their own water as required. As already mentioned, having a few quality magazines and newspapers on a low table or in a rack can provide a pleasurable distraction if people are waiting for a longer time and a place to put wet umbrellas and heavy overcoats is always appreciated as the weather turns colder.
Finally, choose reception area furniture that will withstand a constant stream of visitors without starting to look shabby or fall apart too soon. Pick a colour theme that will not go out of fashion too quickly and consider how your office could expand in the future, and how you will cope with the additional staff members, contractors and visitors that this could generate. Money spent now on good quality furniture, fittings and décor will turn into a welcome investment further down the line.