Your office reception area is a place for first impressions. It is usually the first space your clients and guests experience when visiting your business, and thus sets the tone for the rest of their visit. Make sure that it is a warm and inviting space that puts your office in the best light. Here are our top 5 tips for an impressive and welcoming office reception area.

Colour and lighting

Colours and lighting go a long way in setting the tone of a room. Warm, natural lighting can make an area feel larger than it is, and more welcoming and refreshing. Dark corners and shadows make a space feel gloomy, and can be avoided with well-placed accent lighting.

The colour scheme of your reception area should reflect your brand, as well as imbue a sense of professionalism and a welcoming space. If your brand colours do not ‘sit’ well for walls or large areas, perhaps use them as accent colours, for example on the reception desk, and choose complementing colours for the larger furnishings and décor.

Layout

The layout and arrangement of features in your reception area also play a part in setting a welcoming tone. A crowded assortment of seating with little leg room can make guests feel uncomfortable and harried, while too much open and empty space makes a space feel cold and clinical.

Make sure your reception area is clean and open. There should be a clear pathway from the entrance to the reception desk and the waiting area. Seating and other furniture can be arranged to accommodate the space while creating a welcoming area. Signage can also help guests to navigate the reception space.

Seating

Whether your business typically has lengthy or short waiting periods for visitors, it is essential that they feel comfortable while they wait. Comfortable seating can help nervous, anxious or timid guests relax before their appointment, and sets a good atmosphere in the waiting area. Arrange your seating to make each guest feel important and valued, instead of simply the next person in the queue.

The type of seating you choose should offer comfort while reflecting your brand. Upholstered chairs or sofas in your business colours are a great idea, but more interesting seating is also an option. Modern companies may choose contemporary designer seats, businesses in the environmental or construction industries may prefer upcycled wooden pallet furniture, a youth centre might select bean bags for their younger guests, and a vintage clothing company may opt for a mismatched but tasteful collection of vintage chairs, just to list a few examples. The seating you choose is an opportunity to subtly but effectively express the style of your business, especially if your reception area is minimalist in its décor.

Refreshments

Hospitality is a great way to show your company’s dedication to quality service. Visitors are likely to view your business more positively if you provide them with refreshments. Coffee, tea and fresh water are common choices for a refreshment station. As a bonus, the smell of freshly brewed coffee adds to the reception area atmosphere. You could also go the distance to make your guests feel like true VIPs with an additional bowl of mints, sweets or other small treats.

Decoration and additional furnishings

The décor of your reception areas performs two important functions; it provides something for visitors to engage with until you are ready to welcome them into their appointment, and it contributes to the image and identity of your brand. A tasteful selection of decorations and furnishings can express sophistication and style.

There are several ways to decorate and furnish a reception area. A muted television or display screen with your business portfolio can provide entertainment and information, as can engaging reading material like magazines and promotional materials. Artwork in the form of paintings, photography or even sculptural pieces are a stylish and tasteful addition to reception areas. Greenery, such as a potted fern, adds a taste of nature and can also keep the air fresh and clean. For an extra measure to impress guests, you could display your business’s awards and qualifications in your reception area to instil a sense of confidence, achievement and professionalism.

No matter which style you choose to decorate and furnish your office reception area in, it all comes down to how well it reflects your brand and communicates to visitors what they can expect from your business. Impressed visitors leads to more sales and stronger business relationships. To make a lasting first impression with an impressive reception area, or to view our top of the range reception area furniture, contact All Office today.