The importance of your reception area

The reception area of your business is likely to be the very first area your visitors will see. It’s also where they’ll get their first impressions of your company, especially as those first impressions make a lasting impact on your visitors – even if you are just using the area as a meet and greet.

Design and Decor

reception areaDoes the area match your perceived company image? For example, Google, known for innovation and quirky design, have installed a twisty slide in their San Francisco HQ, to keep staff happy and provide a talking point for their visitors!

You need to ensure the furniture and décor accurately portray your branding – should you be thinking modern and quirky, when it comes to your reception area furniture and artwork – or are you more traditional and classical? Do you want exotic, real, fake or no plants in your reception area?

Do you want to match the company branding, in terms of colours and style? Are you looking for bright and colourful, or muted and clinical? What materials are your chairs and tables made from? Would metal or wood better suit your branding? Leather or plastic?

You need to understand the overall objectives of your reception area before making these decisions. For example, will your visitors potentially be spending any time in this area or will they just be walking straight through?


Waiting roomYou need to consider the practicalities of your reception area too – especially the space itself. Do you take in regular deliveries that need to be unloaded to the reception area? Do you expect several visitors at a time, and therefore need space for them and for extra chairs?

How does the overall reception area look? Is it clean and tidy? Have you ensured it’s as comfortable as possible for your guests? For example, do you have a water cooler and/or a drinks machine? Can they easily find the rest rooms? Do they have reading material and/or radio or TV screens to keep them entertained whilst they wait?

Do you need a receptionist?

Not all reception areas need a receptionist. It could be that your main door has an intercom entry system to use, giving you time to go down and let them in. Alternatively, you may have an unmanned reception desk, especially popular in shared office spaces. If this is the case, you need to ensure there’s adequate signage to direct your visitors to you.

If you do have a receptionist, ensure that she represents your company in the best possible light – from her mannerisms to her attire.

Don’t forget those small things!

Reception area with marble reception deskRegardless of whether you have a large or small reception area, manned or unmanned, you want to ensure it’s clean, inspiring, practical and comfortable for your visitors. This includes:

  • Ensuring the seating is clean and comfortable
  • Checking everything is topped up – including everything from drinks machines and cups to toilet rolls and air fresheners!
  • Ensuring dustbins are regularly emptied and clean

Signage etc.

Another often neglected and forgotten, but important thing to remember, is the VERY first thing your visitors will see – the signage and means of entering your building. When it comes to portraying a professional image, EVERYTHING needs to be thought about, including things such as your signage, doorbell and name tags.

Are your name tags handwritten and smudged? Does your doorbell need new batteries? Are your signs damaged or missing letters etc.? What are they actually made of? Would plastic, wood or metal better suit your overall branding?

Take the time to get your reception area right now and it’ll pay off in the long run, it will further enhance the overall image and leave a great lasting impression on your visitors.

If you have any questions regarding reception areas, post them in the comments box below and I’ll help answer them. If you’d like some inspiration, check out the workspace designs on my Pinterest board!

Images © xy, rilueda & Roman Sigaev/Dollar Photo Club

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