A warm welcome - giving office visitors the right reception.

First impressions do count for a lot and never more so than in the reception area when you’re showcasing your company to new people – so feel free to go for the show-stopping piece of artwork or statement decorative items in this space. We’ve seen vintage carousel horses, upright pianos, illuminated circus lettering and even a repurposed subway train carriage used as funky reception accessories, but whatever you do, always remember that the majority of visitors are going to spend most of their time in reception either waiting or working.

It’s really important to ensure that you go a little deeper with design by considering visitor comfort as well as style. It’s one thing to make a huge effort or go to a lot of expense to create the ‘Wow!’ factor as people enter your building, but leaning on a rickety desk trying to go through security or perching on the edge of a great looking but horrifically uncomfortable sofa for twenty minutes could make people feel very unwelcome and undo a lot of that hard work.

So how can you make visitors to the office feel more comfortable?

The easiest way is to make sure that your reception space is designed for visitor flow. That means working out how company visitors will move through the entrance space and ensuring that all your reception furniture is designed to meet their needs. That doesn’t mean anything has to look boring – there is an amazing variety of commercial grade designer furniture available now so you never have to choose between style and functionality.

Choose the right reception desk for the job.

Select an appropriate reception desk of the right height for all users with corner storage or screens to make going through security feel effortless. This shows people that their privacy is being respected and will immediately increase their trust in your brand. The desk should also be accessible to all visitors and of a style and finish that reflects your company image.

Furniture needs to be functional as well as fashionable.

People can feel uncomfortable or uneasy in a badly designed or thoughtlessly furnished space without even realising why. Consider offering a variety of seating options; grouped sofas around low tables or chairs that allow people to sit on their own if they prefer. Office sofas and chairs should be of a height that makes them easy to get in and out of with dignity. Think about adding thoughtful touches like coffee tables so people can spread out their paperwork or put a drink down without fear of spillage.

Make spaces work for everyone with zoning.

Even if the smallest buildings it’s usually possible to zone separate spaces for quiet time, phone calls and group chat by simply arranging chairs and tables to allow flexibility of use.

With the right layout and furniture your employees can use this space too – for informal meetings, interviews, telephone calls or even just to take a quiet few minutes for creative thought or quiet reading.

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