Just as a face represents a person, the reception represents an office or a business. And just as we form an opinion by looking at the person, most visitors similarly form an opinion about the business and how it is doing by looking at the reception area.
Read our 7 tips for lifting your reception to ensure that it’s not letting you down.
1. First Impressions Last
A reception desk is a very important element for every company. This desk is placed in an area where employees first meet with potential new clients and existing customers. Therefore, the reception desk is a focal point and therefore crucial for the first impression that prospective and existing clients get of your company. This is why investing in a good reception desk is a smart idea.
2. Open & Airy
A light and bright reception offers a welcoming and friendly feel to your business. Glass partitioning gives clients the illusion of a larger, lighter area as it allows more light to flow through the space.
Furthermore, your client gets a real feel of your business and it makes you seem more open and transparent. If visitors are rare and/or having an independent receptionist doesn’t work for your company, it allows your staff to see, and therefore, attend to a visitor immediately.
Glass partitioning also keeps your staff secure with a physical barrier but doesn’t make the reception feel small and enclosed.
If your company is a little more conservative than a cutting-edge tech firm, you may not see employees skateboarding across a room full of bean bags – especially attired in the suit and tie specified on the company’s handbook. Oak is one of the most enduring shades of furniture and always been there in many different guises – this shade portrays a longevity about your company – Accolade have been working with NFU Mutual who specify oak for all their offices.
4. Does Your Reception Welcome All?
The Equality Act 2010 doesn’t set out specific physical requirements for furniture: it simply requires that “reasonable adjustments” be made to meet the needs of disabled people – and what is “reasonable” will vary according to the particular circumstances.
It is important to appreciate that the Equality Act applies to all manner of disabilities of all types, including, for example, disabilities of mobility, strength, agility, vision, hearing, mental capacity and much more. There is often a misapprehension amongst the non-disabled population that disability equals wheelchair use: this is both inaccurate and misleading.
The following considerations and adaptations will make your office more accessible to all:
Does your reception desk have an induction loop? This is an expensive adjustment but may be necessary, particularly at a glass counter.
Is the reception area reasonably quiet and located away from any noisy machinery?
Is seating suitable for people with mobility impairments?
Is there waiting space for wheelchair users?
Might it be possible to create a lowered section of the reception desk? If not, it would be advisable to provide some means of allowing wheelchair users to sign forms etc., such as a lower writing shelf, or simply a clipboard. Staff could be encouraged to come out from behind high reception counters, when a wheelchair user approaches.
Are people standing behind the reception desk easily viewable from the front, to make lip-reading easier?
This should make for a happier workplace where every member feels valued.
Decorations such as graphics and branding help create a strong sense of company branding
On the other hand, if you see bright colours and graffiti, you are probably trying to link on with Generation X.
A touch of technology helps adding feather to the cap of your brand. Whether it’s a company video or a check in machine. It takes you above and beyond. For example, YouTube below have covered the walls of their reception with screens that showcase the latest clips that are trending. This helps to the visitor to imbibe company culture from the minute that they walk in the door.
Does your reception offer visitors everything that they need so that they feel comfortable and welcome? Equally, is your reception designed so that it looks clean and tidy at all times?
Comfy, ergo seating will make your visitor’s wait pleasant and enjoyable. Vending machines will help them to feel refreshed. These are obvious things to include, but how about going that step further by providing somewhere easy and safe to rest coffee cups as well as somewhere to dispose of them. Provision of Wi-Fi and charging points show that you are going the extra mile to help your visitors have a productive wait.
If you plan to host informal meetings and discussions in your reception space, is it quiet enough and sufficiently shielded from inevitable traffic?
Does your floor ever look a bit dirty, especially when the weather’s not too good? Installing a small area of entrance matting will help extend the life of the rest of your flooring and keeps it looking much cleaner as it takes the worst of the grime from footwear as people enter the office. Vinyl is often a popular option as it’s non slip, easier to clean and less susceptible to stains than carpets. However, carpet where there is seating is much more welcoming and comfortable so consider having a mix of floor coverings…
Consider whether boxes delivered by carriers, for example, can be immediately stored away to keep the reception looking neat and tidy at all times – a messy reception can portray a slovenly company attitude.
You need to be able to move in the reception without squeezing past furniture. This will maintain all decorations and furniture in much better condition and your reception will look and feel more spacious and inviting.
Our workspace consultants will generally specify vinyl wallpaper in these high traffic areas thanks to its durability and even better, it is available in a huge range of designs to make sure your reception area is unique!
“Good design to me is both appearance and functionality together. It’s the experience that makes it a good design” Michael Graves