It might be a cliché, but it’s true that you only get one chance to make a good first impression. This means that when you’re designing your office, it pays to put some extra time and effort into getting your reception area just right. This is the first thing that visitors to your premises will see. Whether they’re prospective employees, customers or investors, they are bound to make judgements about your business based on the look and feel of this area.
So, if you’re not completely satisfied with the way your reception is presented, now’s the time to make some changes. To help you along the way, the following five simple steps should make it easier for you to whip this part of your workplace into shape and create a positive impression among your guests.
- Refresh your colour scheme
Peeling paintwork and a tired, lacklustre colour scheme are big no nos in office entrance areas. So, if you think your reception is in need of a little TLC, now’s the time to make some changes. A new coat of paint and some vibrant accessories could completely transform your reception and give it a more professional, attractive vibe. Branding is particularly important in this part of your workplace, so try to incorporate your company’s colours into your design scheme. As well as repainting your walls, consider replacing your flooring to reflect your new colour theme, and don’t be afraid to inject added personality with the help of some bold, attractive artwork or branded signage.
Refreshing your colour scheme can be one of the cheapest yet most effective ways to improve your reception. It enables you to achieve impressive results with minimal expenditure.
- Improve your furnishings
A high-quality reception desk and some comfortable seats are must-have items in these areas, so if your reception furniture has seen better days, it’s well worth investing in new designs. As the focal point of your reception, your desk is arguably the most important furnishing in this part of your office, so it pays to make sure it looks just right and functions perfectly. Whether you go for a curved or a straight-edged design, a contemporary desk or a traditional model, make sure it complements the overall style you’re going for and is a suitable size.
When it comes to your seating, it’s essential that you select products that look the part and are comfortable to use. Also, make sure that you have enough seats to accommodate the number of people who may use your reception at any given time. Bear in mind that space-saving modular designs can help you to maximise the amount of seating on offer.
It’s also a good idea to include a coffee table for people to rest their drinks on, and these surfaces come in handy if you want to provide people with complementary reading material. The tables are also perfect for resting vases of fresh flowers and fruit bowls on.
- Get creative with your lighting
The importance of attractive lighting is sometimes overlooked in reception areas. However, with a little imagination, it’s possible to create stunning visual effects that transform the appearance of these spaces. For example, you could use spotlights to highlight specific features in your entrance area, such as your most prized awards and your favourite artworks. You might also want to add dramatic flair to your reception desk with the help of some strategically placed uplights. Different coloured illuminations can also help you to create a contemporary, stylish look in this part of your workplace.
Particularly if you have high ceilings, attractive pendant lights could make a good addition to your reception too. These accessories are ideal as high-impact design features above desks or seating areas. Meanwhile, why not complete your lighting effects with some illuminated signage?
- Integrate technology
Carefully chosen technology can also work wonders to enhance receptions. For example, the simple addition of a flat-screen TV positioned so that your guests can see it from the seating area can give this part of your office a more dynamic look. You could take this idea a step further and incorporate a video wall. These statement accessories create a striking focal point and they can give your office an ultra-modern look and feel. They also show that you take your tech seriously. Of course, it’s up to you what you display on your screen or video wall. Perhaps you’ll impress your guests with soothing images or maybe you’ll take the opportunity to educate them about your business.
Although it won’t affect the look of your reception, providing free Wi-Fi in this area can also make it more welcoming to guests. This small gesture makes it easier for people to stay connected while they are waiting in your office.
- Ensure it’s spotless
Last but not least, make sure this part of your office is always spotless. A layer of dust on surfaces, crumbs or litter on the floor and overflowing bins are guaranteed to give guests a bad impression of your company. This slapdash approach to caring for your reception may suggest you have a similarly lazy approach to managing other aspects of your business. The fact is, it only takes a matter of minutes to keep your reception spic and span – especially if you clean it on a daily basis – so it’s well worth putting in the time and effort.
As well as keeping the area clean, make sure it always smells inviting. A plugin air freshener is one of the easiest ways to do this. Just make sure the scent you choose isn’t too overpowering.
Taking these five straightforward but effective steps should help you to ensure your reception area ticks all the right boxes with your guests. Bear in mind though, as well as getting the space itself spot on, it’s essential that your reception staff are as welcoming as possible to visitors. An unmanned desk or an unprofessional greeting is bound to put people off, so it’s crucial that your personnel understand how important it is to make a positive impression on guests.