For many years office reception area seating has usually meant black leather sofas or moulded foam modular seating, covered in a basic open weave fabric. Practical and cheap but not very exciting
But more and more businesses are becoming more aware just how important their reception area is, both in terms of the statement it makes to their customers, and the feel-good factor it has on their staff.
Indeed many businesses are now allocating specific areas of their offices for staff breakout or recreation areas, having recognised the necessity to provide social areas in order to improve staff moral and productivity.
And these areas are often colourful, modern and comfortable, giving the employee a necessary and welcome break from their desk, and an informal meeting area as well.
Although it is hard to actually calculate the benefit, various studies have been carried out and all confirm that employee satisfaction, enthusiasm and contentment are all increased in businesses where the staff are provided with quality rest and recreation areas, known as break-out areas.
Some companies are even progressing to the level of providing exercise and “forty wink” facilities in their offices, having seen the improvement in concentration and enthusiasm that these areas generate.
It really does seem that after a certain level, salary is not the most important motivator for the majority of office workers.
And motivation is the key to a successful business. A successful business allows employees to spend time chatting about ideas, sharing problems and brainstorming, in a very informal manner.
Coffee breaks are taken in these informal areas, with other colleagues, rather than sitting alone at their workstation.
Apart from the social and business advantages gained from having specific social areas, there is another advantage in that carpets and computer equipment are less likely to be damaged by hot drinks being spilled.
In addition there are specific health and hygiene advantages to taking refreshments (most importantly lunch) is designated areas rather than at the office desk, and is this is potentially one of the most germs filled areas in any office.
Office desks are never left tidy enough for the cleaners to be able to effectively kill germs and viruses which are always present, and in very large numbers if the desk or workstation is also used as a dining table.
Much of the stylish reception furniture available can be upholstered in your choice of fabric, either chosen to match your office interior or your corporate colours or logo.
Very often, in the past, the most basic of fabric was chosen in order to keep costs down, but this really is a false economy.
Whilst higher grouped fabrics are going to be more expensive, the added cost is relatively small whereas the perceived increase in quality can be very large, if the correct choice is made. Tighter weave brightly coloured fabrics or imitation suede material can really lift what is a fairly basic piece of office furniture.
By carefully looking at different fabrics you can really add value to your purchase and create some reception furniture that is individual and unique to your business.
Many of the fabrics used in the office furniture industry are made by one of two major manufacturers and their websites are very informative and show most of the options available.
You can even request C5 sized samples to be sent to you by post.
So don’t just stick with what you see in the brochure. Dare to be different and you will be pleased that you did.