In my second year of decorating school one of our projects was to design a reception area. It was a little bit of a switch from residential decor but pretty fun nonetheless!
The first thing that comes to mind about a great reception area is to whether or not it has a ‘wow’ factor. First impressions could make or break any business relationship and when it comes to office design the reception area is no exception. The entry area is the first and last point of contact for guests and a warm welcome can leave a lasting and positive first impression. It is also the primary meet and greet place between clients, visitors and business staff and hence it is where initial and hopefully repeat business relationships are forged. Here is the floorplan for my office project.
A good office design enhances the professional image of the business and includes a well-designed, eye-catching and welcoming reception area. Current trends are geared toward innovative spaces with identity and character. A well-designed entrance includes some of the following factors. Firstly, the reception desk should be placed where it can be easily seen so that incoming guests are instantly guided toward it. The desk must be functional and task-appropriate so that reception staff are efficient and productive. Comfortable office chairs would also be required for reception staff especially if they are sitting for most of the day. As well, having an open reception desk is more welcoming than a closed one. Secondly, it is important to have a seating area and table surface where guests can sit comfortably if they have to wait for business staff. Here it would also be necessary to provide some reading materials especially brochures that highlight business services and products. Finally, lighting can be used to create ambiance and to highlight company signage, wayfinding and/or seating areas . Other accessories such as coat hangers, plants and wall decor also go a long way in creating a pleasing and comfortable atmosphere. The elevation below shows the reception area fro the above floorplan.
In planning the reception area certain considerations must be taken into account. The size of the area, the number of receptionists required and the tasks they will be performing. Other functional areas such as table surfaces, a servery and a filing space may be needed. It is then important to determine the client’s style and corporate identity so it can be incorporated into the office design. Checking out their website and graphic design would be valuable in this endeavour. Various options for furniture exist depending on one’s budget including modular and custom designed furniture. Determining the need for storage and filing cabinets is also important as is the functionality of these items. Lastly it is important to consider accessibility issues for people who are mobility impaired.
In today’s business environment office spaces are no longer just about getting the work done. With effective lighting, ergonomic work stations and eco-friendly products, today’s offices have the potential to boost creativity and productivity. In the end, a good office design is paramount in supporting a comfortable and productive staff. The reception area is not only important in creating rapport with colleagues and clients, it must provide a positive and lasting first impression.