Has your reception area disappeared into the land of lost opportunity? Are visitors to your office feeling welcomed or uncomfortable and awkward?
While creating wonderful spaces to work in and be more productive, the reception area often gets neglected. This, sadly, is a missed opportunity. Whether your reception area is big or small, it’s where first impressions happen.
Fortunately, there are ways you can transform it into a welcoming space that leaves a great impression and sets the tone for your company. Of course, there are common pieces found in almost every reception area, such as visitor chairs, a desk and chair for your receptionist—hopefully ergonomic—and a table for visitors to place their personal belongings. And while the core pieces are important, there are still plenty of opportunities to make your reception area unique with accent pieces and pops of personality.
Anchor with furniture
We’ll start with this as furniture is the most important part of any reception area. While it may be tempting to just toss whatever furniture you have on hand that isn’t being used elsewhere into the space, you’re missing out on an opportunity to make a strong first impression. What vibe do you want to greet people with when they first walk into your office? Choose your reception furniture and arrangement accordingly.
If you have a tighter space, tandem seating works great. Get more creative with the arrangement. For example, instead of just pushing the chairs straight against a wall, put them side by side but adjust the outer chairs so they form a half circle. This can make the space feel more open and welcoming instead of stiff and uncomfortable.
If you have a little more room, guest chairs with padding can make the reception area feel more luxurious and expensive, in a good way. And you should never forget to provide a comfortable greeting station for your receptionist if you have one. The happier your receptionist, the more visitors will be able to feel that cheerful energy.
In a more open space, a larger coffee table is a great idea to provide guests with a place to put their purses and briefcases instead of the floor. Smaller areas can make use of side tables. And don’t forget great lighting to set the perfect mood.
Your reception area is a clever place to slip in items that advertise your brand. Stock it up with branded stationery, pens, bags and other freebies to give your guests. Choose items that clients and potential clients will really use.
You could also place some branded snacks and drinks on that coffee table we mentioned earlier. Small courtesies like this make a lasting impression and let your visitors know you care. You can make coffee and tea available with branded mugs waiting to be used.
Aside from having your brand logo and info printed on products to give away, stay on brand with the design of your reception space. A cohesive feel and color palette will show your professional side, sweet side, serious side, or whatever side your company rolls with.
Bring in nature
From a rug with a natural pattern to lots of plants, fresh flowers, and greenery, adding some nature to your area is an easy way to freshen things up. Plants help keep the air healthier and everyone feeling calmer and more centered. Plants just make you feel better.
According to Psychology Today, some plants that seem to have a positive effect are:
- Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Arrowhead Vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
- Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema sp.)
“Science has spoken. Are we listening? Plants and flowers make good partners for the air, our health and bottom line productivity. Most importantly, they make us feel good!”
Show off your artistic side
Adding art to your reception area is another easy way to create a mood and interest your visitors. Art prints, motivational quotes, murals, a water feature—there are plenty of ways to decorate the walls and make your space more inviting.
Your reception area walls are also a great place to show off your company culture, think pictures of your team at local events, the charities you support, and your company mission. Another idea is a board of testimonials.
If it fits your brand, you could even have a flat screen TV that runs videos of your behind the scenes clips. A fun way to engage visitors with what you do and how you do it. A social media wall is another option letting visitors know where they can follow you around the web.
There is so much opportunity to create a memorable reception area. Did this post trigger a great idea for your office’s welcoming space? Let’s hear about it in the comments.