It’s no secret that creating the perfect office space is important if you want your employees to be productive. A comfortable environment that is set up in an efficient way will help people work more effectively. But it’s not just about your employees.
Your office is a representation of your business and you need to send the right message whenever anybody from outside of the company visits you. In most cases, they won’t be going into the main office areas and most of their time will be spent in the reception area. So, it’s crucial that you design the right space. The way that your reception area is designed can also have an impact on productivity too.
Unfortunately, a lot of businesses see the reception as a simple welcome area and they overlook how important it can be. If you think that it’s time for an office makeover, here are some key tips to help you get the reception area right.
Provide Good Seating
Often, people will be waiting in the reception area for a meeting, interview, or to pick something up etc. Whatever their reasons for being there, you need to make sure that they are comfortable while there, especially if they are waiting for a while. There are a lot of ways to do that but good furniture is essential. If you have uncomfortable seats in your reception area, anybody that visits is immediately slightly frustrated and they have a poor impression of your company.
This is a big problem if you are meeting a potential client, for example. Think about the number of seats that you have too because it can get a little awkward if you have a group of 5 people waiting and only 2 chairs. You end up with people being uncomfortable and it looks quite unprofessional if you have people lurking around in the lobby area looking a bit lost.
When you are choosing office furniture, make sure that you consider people of all sizes and offer large enough furniture so everybody can be comfortable. The material makes a difference too because you want something that can be easily cleaned.
Create The Perfect Front Desk
There are a lot of elements you need to get right if you want to create the perfect front desk. It’s a tricky balance because you need to consider your receptionist and how productive they are as well as the way that the desk presents to people that visit.
When people first enter the building, they should be greeted right away so they are not waiting around wondering where to go. So, the reception desk needs to be placed directly in front of the door with somebody attending it at all times. However, your receptionist also needs some privacy for taking phone calls and attending to other business activities. It’s important that they have their own separate area for working but they are also on hand when somebody comes in. Placing things like the copier and the printer close to the desk, for example, makes it easier for the receptionist to balance both aspects of their role.
When it comes to the desk itself, you should pick something striking that makes an impression when people first walk in. A large desk creates enough space for your receptionist to work but also gives guests enough room if they need to sign in or fill out some forms etc. It is also crucial that the desk area is tidy. It doesn’t matter so much if employees have a bit of clutter on their desks because visitors are not going to see it. But if people walk in and the first thing they see is a messy desk, they instantly get the impression of a chaotic and unorganized business.
Provide Lots Of Information
Giving information to visitors is very important, especially in large office buildings. Usually, the receptionist is the first port of call and people will just ask what floor they need to be on or where they can find contact details for the business. But if you can provide a lot of that information already, it makes life much easier for people and reduces the workload of the employees in reception.
A map is an incredibly valuable addition to your reception area because people can come in and immediately work out where they are going. Practical things like fire safety information should be displayed in the reception area too. When people are visiting your office, you want them to leave with your contact information too, so they can continue to engage with the business in the future. So, get a stack of business cards and put them front and center on the desk.
Invest in some luxury metallic business cards to make them stand out so people are inclined to grab one on the way out. General information about the company for people that don’t have much prior knowledge is good too. Consider making a simple pamphlet with a brief overview of what your business is all about. By providing plenty of information in the reception area, you create an inviting space that encourages people to engage with the business.
Think About Branding And Core Values
As we already discussed, your reception area and the office, in general, is a representation of your business. When people enter the office, they should get a sense of what your values as a company are and what your brand is all about right away. So, when designing the aesthetic of the office, consider your brand and the message that you are trying to convey.
In simple terms, you should pick a color scheme that lines up with the rest of your branding and display your logo front and center in the office. If you have a company slogan or a tagline that you use, this is a great representation of your values, so why not put it up on the wall?
The design and layout of the reception area give a good insight into your brand identity too. For example, if your business is all about creativity, collaboration, and innovation, why not use glass walls so visitors can see your team brainstorming projects and working in collaborative spaces? Allowing people to look inside the business gives them a clear picture of what you are all about. However, if your business has more traditional values, integrating the reception area with the rest of the office in this way may not be as effective.
Don’t Forget The Small Details
Now that you have all of the big picture stuff sorted out, you need to think about the small details. Those finishing touches can make the reception area more comfortable for anybody that visits and make things easier for your employees.
Hat and coat racks are ideal for visitors that are coming in for meetings and interviews. Having a small tea and coffee station makes people feel welcome too, and it means that employees don’t need to run back and forth making tea and coffee for your guests. Reading materials to keep people entertained and small coffee tables are great additions too. Give people access to wifi too, just make sure that you have a secure guest option they can connect to.
Keep It Clean
A messy office creates a lot of challenges as it has a huge impact on productivity. It’s also an issue in the reception area because it seriously damages your business image. If people walk into your office building and the first thing they see is a dirty reception area, it makes you look incredibly unprofessional. So, make sure that you have a regular cleaning service and any employees working in the reception area tidy up after themselves.
The reception area is often an afterthought when designing an office but it shouldn’t be. As long as you get all of these elements right, you can design the perfect welcome area for your business.