Office Layout Tricks for an Impressive Reception Area

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As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a good first impression.

The layout of your reception area is something you will need to plan carefully. Furniture placement, decor and space considerations all need to be a part of the design so that office visitors get a positive first impression the second they step through the door.

Be strategic in your planning your reception area and be sure to include the following elements.

1. A Comfortable Layout

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The reception area should offer visitors a comfortable area where they can sit, relax and get work done.  Place the furniture far enough away from the door so that they won’t get cold from people walking in and out on chilly days. Have couches and chairs placed together so groups can sit and discuss business while they wait. Set out magazines nearby for solitary visitors to thumb through.  Lastly, consider a coffee maker; it’s a nice touch for making clients, job candidates and guests feel welcome, and energized! 

2. Practical Design

The lobby is a busy spot, and on certain days it can look messy in a matter of minutes. Inclement weather can lead to people tracking snow, salt or mud onto the floor. Plan around these issues by decorating with stylish but practical elements, like runner rugs placed right at the entrance, so that guests won’t be greeted with a ‘Wet Floor’ sign. Another good idea is to have umbrella holders near the door. And voila, the area will stay safe and clean.

3. Your Company Logo

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Besides comfort and practicality, the lobby should also reflect your brand. Consider decorating the area with your company’s colors, placing the logo design on the wall or installing televisions playing your company’s advertising near the sitting area. Take a look at these entrance photos collected by Office Snapshots, and you’ll see that Skype has both a reception desk with its logo carved into its front side, as well as a television screen displaying the company logo.

4. A Welcoming Atmosphere

In addition to including your logo in the reception area design, also think about the atmosphere you want to create. Consider the following wise advice from Fourfront Group’s head of marketing, Ben Murray:

‘Imagine the experience of your guest when the come into your building, and consider how you’d like to be greeted and seated.’  

In other words, decide what you want the lobby to say about the company overall, and use that philosophy to guide your design choices. Do you want to go traditional or edgy? Colorful or monochrome? 

5. Space Around the Reception Desk

Nothing says ‘disorganized’ and ‘unprofessional’ like having a guest bob and weave through a maze of boxes. Packages and deliveries are likely left at the reception desk on a daily basis, so it’s important to have enough space to store these items until they can be picked up. Make the desk area large enough that packages of any size can be easily set to the side on another desk surface, or somewhere behind the main desk. 

Whether a person is visiting your building for the first time or the 100th, they should always feel comfortable and welcomed. For potential business partners and job candidates, design is especially important; their experience in the lobby could be a make-or-break factor in their decision to work with the company. Make sure your lobby is comfortable, spacious, welcoming, and aligned with your brand. It could be the difference between a one-time-only visitor, and one who returns again and again.

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