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A Guide to Reception Areas

We have all heard the expression ‘You only get one chance to make a first impression’ and this is never more important than in your company’s reception area.

It is recognised that two of the most important areas within any office building are the reception and boardroom. The reception is the first area visited by both customers and staff alike and they will quickly form an opinion about your organisation from this initial experience. Consequently it is vital that businesses think carefully about the reception space in order to maximise the benefit of this first impression.

There are a number of elements to consider.

How often are you visited by clients and how many generally visit at a time? This may influence the amount of space given to seating and waiting areas. Many organisations will use the reception as an area for small informal meetings although this is usually where the reception is quite large. If using the reception in this way it may be beneficial to include a small area for refreshments along with the usual array of company literature and the day’s newspapers.

Having settled on an area for seating and tables the main furniture item is the reception desk. This needs to be carefully thought out as reception desks often have to perform several functions and can be somewhat of a compromise. The ideal reception desk will have the visual appearance that tells visitors if your business is contemporary or traditional, be practical for the staff to greet visitors whilst being able to accommodate telephone and computer equipment as required. Thought will need to be given to cable management and storage to make sure the desk remains both practical to use and neat and tidy. Careful thought should be given to the Disability Discrimination Act and ensuring that the company policy in conjunction with the design, layout and type of furniture fully comply.

Finally one can consider signage either to direct visitors or convey information about your business. There are numerous types and styles of signage and these can be used to great effect to create a stunning visual impact.

Given careful thought the reception area can convey the right message to your visitors and speak volumes about your business. Through the selection of the right seating and desking you can create a comfortable and practical environment that will always create the right ‘first impression’.