Office Reception Desk Guide

What type of reception desk do I need?

There are many styles and types of curved reception desks from L shaped, curved to a standard straight desk. This all depends on the shape and size of your reception area plus how the room is used.

A comprehensive guide on office reception desks

A comprehensive guide on office reception desks, counters and standing reception desks. How to decide what type of desk you that will work for your reception area and how to decide on the desk accessories you might need.

Doctors or clinic waiting room desk

1. Doctors or clinic waiting room desk:

Ideally white with a gloss wipe-clean surface. Because most waiting rooms might need to seat two receptionists a straight desk like the Forty5 or Era desk. Both desks have a low table for seated access for the patients. Counter features include lockable storage and integrated cable management.

If you want a curved reception desk with a glossy front the Vale comes in many colours and size options including a wheelchair accessible table.

Corporate office desk

2. Corporate office desk:

With plenty of space and a need to impress a large round or U shaped reception desk can be used. We recommend the At-work U shaped counter which includes the option to match your corporate colours, comes with a full wrap-around front and sides.

School, college & university reception desk

3. School, college & university reception desk:

This type of desk needs to be economical, hardwearing and suitable for high use areas. The desk surfaces should be easily wipeable, storage should be locking and the desk should still be inviting and modern.

We would suggest the Era desk which also has the option of a low protruding table at the end for seated and wheelchair visitors. The desk is suitable for one, two or even three school receptionists.

Museum or gallery high desk

4. Museum or gallery high desk:

A high or standing reception desk is more suitable for a museum or gallery than a sitting desk. The greeter needs to interact with the visitor at eye level and be able to pass information to them easily. Most standing reception counters are around 110 cm high with a desktop height of 95 cm.

Reception counter add-ons

Cable management

All reception desks or counters come with the option of full or part cable management. Cable hatches or round grommets holes can be fitted in any position on the top. Cable trays can then be added under the cable hole to guide the cables to the nearest plug socket on the wall or floor.

Cable management add-ons include:

  • Cable hatches
  • Cable holes
  • Cable trays
  • Cable spines (cable guide from desk to floor)

Monitor shelf

The monitor stand sits below the desktop so the top computer screen is below the top of the counter and cannot be seen by the visitor. If you use a larger monitor screen this is a vital option.

Power sockets & charging points

UK power sockets can be specified in groups of two, three or four in rotating or fixed countertop units. Choose from units that are flush with the top or fixed to the top.

LED lighting

A standard feature on most modern reception desks. Desks come with the option of changing the LED light colour from white to reds, blues, oranges and greens or your corporate colour.

Matching locking cabinets

A reception desk with storage is necessary for doctors surgeries or clinics were document storage close to the waiting room desk is necessary.

Types of office cabinet:

  • Locking under desk drawers
  • Integrated storage
  • Low storage cabinets
  • High storage cabinets
  • Glass fronted cabinets
  • Hanging file cabinets

Bespoke reception desk

Common Questions

1. How wide should a desk be for two receptions?

For each receptionist or desk user, we recommend a minimum width of 120 cm. This gives enough room to move about without the receptionists getting in each other’s way. For two receptionists, you will need a desk with a minimum of 240 cm width.

2. Can I add power points?

All desks have the option to add power sockets and USB charging points. The units can be set into the worktop or fixed to the desk surface for even easier access. For items like monitors and printers, we suggest using an extension lead which can be left in the cable tray under the desktop.

3. What is the standard height?

The standard desktop height is around 74 cm, roughly the same as a normal table height. The countertop or front of the desk is higher at around 110 cm so it can be used by visitors who are standing.

4. What are the options for seated visitors and wheelchair users?

Most desks have the option of a table that protrudes from the front of the desk. This allows seated visitors to read information or fill out forms in comfort. This feature can be made to a bespoke size if you have a particular specification.

5. Can you help if I need to move the desk to a new location?

We can supply fitters to disassemble and reassemble your reception desk in a different location in the current office or at a new location. This can be completed outside normal office hours if necessary.

6. Is the reception desk wipeable?

Most reception desks are made from melamine, laminate, glass or metal. Most of these surfaces can be wiped with a damp cloth and a suitable cleaner depending on the mark or stain. Always check first before using any chemicals on the surface.

7. How do I clean a reception counter?

Typically, you should use a mild window cleaner that is not abrasive to remove grease and dirt. To remove bacteria we suggest you use an anti-bacterial cleaner that does not contain any chemicals like bleach or abrasive material.

Always test on a surface that is not visible like the underside of desktop.


All our furniture is supplied with a 5 year warranty. For more information click below.


All our products are offered with a minimum 25% off the list price and further discounts are available on larger quantities.


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We’re operating as normal and our lead times haven’t been affected.

June 2022

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