When it comes to your business, first impressions really do count. The process of designing a functional office for your employees to work in is one that often requires a lot effort. But there’s another area within the workplace that should get equally as much attention – the reception area.
Your reception area is the first thing your customers and clients will see of your company, and it needs to create the right style and vibe immediately.
People are quick to judge, and businesses are no exception. If your reception area is impersonal, scruffy and lacking in character, then your clients and customers will be instantly turned off from your company.
A reception should be comfortable, inviting and elegant, and designed in a way that effortlessly emphasises the tone of your business. Creating all this in one small space isn’t always easy and the best approach will usually be to enlist the services of a commercial interior design company.
Below are a few tips to consider when attempting to create the perfect reception area for your business.
The layout you choose for your reception area is particularly important as it will envisage the structure of the rest of your company. The idea is to design a reception layout that is simple and easy to navigate, as this will give the same impression of your business.
There is no need to overcomplicate things, and it should be immediately obvious to visitors where they need to go. Your space should create a natural flow to where you want your customers to go first, whether it is a reception desk or seating area.
Your visitors should instantly know where they are and who your business is from the second they walk in the door, and one of the easiest ways of doing this is by prominently featuring your company logo. A logo in the reception area will firmly brand the space and give off a very clear message to your customers from the moment they enter.
Position your logo somewhere that is clearly visible from the entrance. It should be large enough to be seen from the door but shouldn’t be overbearing or crowd the area. Make your logo stand out through creative designs such as giving the impression of it hovering from the wall, or light it up with backlights.
Reception areas are often used as waiting areas for your customers, so it is essential that you include some comfortable seating. Having seats that your clients and customers don’t mind waiting in is an absolute must if you plan on using your reception as an area to accommodate them.
Ensure there are enough seats for your company’s needs, so some customers aren’t left needing to stand. You should also choose chairs and sofas that are the right size and shape and make your customers feel relaxed and at home. Don’t forget to add a coffee table or side table or two for people to place drinks or magazines while they wait.
The colours you choose for your reception area will help form part of your customers first impression. They will set the tone and feel for your business right from the beginning, and it is important to get it right. Think about how different colours will make your visitors feel as they enter your business.
Bold, bright colours will make your customers feel invigorated but also could be overpowering. Muted and soft colours will be calming and relaxing, so consider if this is how you want your business to be perceived. It is also worth linking your reception area colours to your branding and makes sure they go well with your logo.
Lighting plays a crucial role in the design of a reception area but is often overlooked. If you are lucky enough to have a space with lots of natural lighting, then be sure to design your reception in a way that makes the most of this. Keep your blinds and shades to a minimum and don’t place any furniture in front of the light sources.
If your reception is a darker space, then opt for soft lighting in the form of table lights and uplighters. Avoid overhead fluorescent lighting as it can be very unwelcoming and feel more like a hospital waiting area rather than a pleasant business.
It is all well and good, having a reception area that is beautiful to look at, but your space must be functional as well. Make sure various areas are clearly signed, such as the reception desk, stairwells and lifts.
Consider how accessible your reception area is to a wide range of visitors and make sure your disabled visitors can easily navigate and are well catered for. Your waiting area should be considered a significant zone for influencing customers, it is not only the place of first impressions, but regular visitors will spend an increasing amount of time there.