Guide to... Office Receptions. Make the Right Impression!
We've all heard that saying 'first impressions mean everything' and the same applies to your office reception area. This initial point of contact is your first chance to make a lasting impression. It is essential that you make the right one. The design and layout of this space will speak volumes to your visitors, whether they are new clients, potential business associates or prospective employees!
What to consider when designing your office reception
Your office reception area should be functional, inviting and aesthetically pleasing. One of the key factors to consider is the purpose that this space will serve. If the area will be used for various functions, including hosting visitors, receiving and accommodating deliveries, and acting as an impromptu meeting area, then crucial features will need to be incorporated into the design.
Durable materials and finishes that will not easily succumb to wear and tear over time should also be incorporated in frequently used areas. These resilient materials should tie in well with the colour scheme, decor and corporate image of the company for maximum effect.
What about your office reception legal obligations?
You need to ensure that your office reception meets the relevant safety requirements, along with all the necessary precautions, such as fire prevention, which are taken by providing the right safety equipment and instructions.
Other legal requirements to consider include making your facilities accessible to everyone by including disabled access.
You may wish to provide relevant information to visitors, such as fire exit procedures, confirmation of public liability insurance, and any other corporate literature which may be useful.
Small reception area?
Regardless of the size of your space or budget, it is possible to create a comfortable environment that communicates the right message to your stakeholders. The key to making the most of your space is getting expert advice on the design and layout, along with the most cost-effective way to achieve it!
One option is to take the open plan approach by removing walls or partitioning and including the reception area as part of your overall workspace.
Current design trends follow the open plan approach, as this helps in creating a multi-faceted zone that will act as both a waiting area and impromptu meeting space.
Have you considered storage units?
Due to the fact that your reception area may also be used for deliveries, this can cause a safety hazard if packages are left unattended, whilst also communicating that your office is disorganised and untidy.
Storage facilities should be put in place to ensure that packages are kept out of sight and away from pathways. Your office reception space should reflect efficiency and order, and also, where necessary, offer your staff a place to store their personal effects.
If there is usually a waiting period at your offices then it would be beneficial to provide refreshment facilities, as well as reading material to keep your guests entertained while they wait. You could even incorporate a small tea point area in your reception. This will need to be properly maintained and cleaned, as any mess will be a reflection on your business.
Many companies choose to install some form of infotainment, which could include a TV screen with a rotating company presentation or even your chosen 24-hour news channel.
How about lighting?
Appropriate office lighting should be installed to your reception space, but the lighting should also remain different from the main office in order to help differentiate the two areas.
When choosing a lighting system, you should consider:
Energy efficient lighting due to its positive impact on the environment (and long-term cost savings for you!)
Feature lighting to highlight the path to the reception desk
The introduction of lighting on the reception desk, which will help to draw visitors to where they need to be
The use of up or downlights to highlight your branding and corporate communications
Try and incorporate as much natural light as possible, as this will give you a feeling of space; particularly important in smaller reception areas
Your office reception should embody your organisational identity. Whether the message you are trying to communicate is creativity, transparency, innovation and/or teamwork, your reception should reflect this clearly.
The importance of colour cannot be underestimated! Natural colours - or those that reflect the environment - may have a more positive and calming effect. Sky blues and various shades of yellow encourage positive thoughts and feelings. Of course, choosing the right colour can make the space inviting but it can also make smaller reception areas feel larger than what they are.
When choosing your office reception colours, consider using colours which match your brand identity, and can draw attention to the features on the walls. Try contrasting walls where company logos and branding manifestations are positioned.
Plain walls will tell your visitors nothing about your company. You should consider decorating your reception with company imagery, which can help your clients familiarise themselves with the company and what you do. Printed wallpaper is a cost-effective way to do this. And don't forget... art! This can communicate the right kind of message in a non-corporate way.
Creating the right experience for your visitors and employees should always be at the forefront of your mind. Your office reception area should be able to make a clear statement, reflecting your company's values and culture, and it should also be comfortable, functional and aesthetically pleasing!
By seeking the complimentary advice of SEC Interiors, we can provide you with a tailor-made solution that will take the stress away from your project, whilst also ensuring that you end up with a professional looking reception space that works for everyone!