Lasting First Impressions: Designing an Effective Office Reception Area

As the famous adage goes, first impressions last. And when you’re running a business, the reception area of your office is usually the place where clients, business partners and prospective employees form their first impression of your company.

The waiting area is supposed to reflect your company—its values, what you give importance to, and the overall vibe of your operations. Is your company a haven for colorful creatives? Do you conduct a clean and clinical business? However you operate, it must reflect in how you design the area that welcomes your visitors.

With that in mind, here are the most important things to consider when designing your Salt Lake City office’s reception area:

Keep It Comfortable but Elegant

No matter the look or the layout, the comfort of your guests is the most important thing to consider when designing the reception area of your Salt Lake City office. Just as you use ergonomic office furniture to prioritize your employees’ comfort, you have to find furniture and decor that your guests would feel comfortable spending time on.

Of course, you also want each piece of furniture to look elegant. This means finding the right balance between that and comfort. For example, you want a couch that’s firm but with enough give, not something that looks like it belongs in a museum exhibit or something your visitors would slouch in.

Make It Easy to Navigate

If you’ve ever been in a building lobby where you’ve wondered which receptionist to approach or where to line up, you know how confusing and intimidating some reception areas can be. You don’t want your visitors to feel the same way.

So, no matter the size of your reception area, it’s good to make wayfinding easier by putting up clear signage and other place markers. This helps visitors figure out where they need to go. In addition, you want your receptionists’ station to be in the clear line of sight of incoming visitors so the receptionists can catch their eye and warmly welcome them. This invites visitors to proceed to the receptionist to ask for help, eliminating the feeling of being lost.

Design With Visitors in Mind

One common mistake when planning the layout of a reception area is designing with an empty space in mind. This means people tend to go after furniture and layout choices that look good when the reception area is empty. Obviously, this isn’t always the case.

The reception is a high-traffic area, so it’s important to make design decisions based on the assumption that it will always be full or busy. This way, you provide enough seats and wide spaces that are functional even in times when there aren’t a lot of visitors. This is better than forcing visitors to weave around pieces of furniture and other people or leaving them no choice but to stand because your reception area doesn’t have enough seats.

The important thing to consider when designing a great reception area is the message you want to convey to your visitors. Remember, this is where they will have their first real interaction with your business. If you want to leave them with a great first impression, you have to design a great reception area.