What is a Reception Office?

The reception office is where all visitors to the organisation are received. It is usually located by the entrance. It is the place where you greet your clients or potential employees for the first time. The Reception Area offers an opportunity to allow your visitors to learn more about your company’s background and culture whilst waiting for someone to meet them: your reception area says a lot about your business and influences how your visitors will ultimately interact with you. The Reception Office is a key feature in any organisation.

The Reception Desk

A modern reception office

You only get one chance to make a first impression, as they say. Therefore it is important to make the right choice when buying a reception desk. Because this will often be the central piece of your entrance area, it needs to provide a focal point but at the same time serve as a practical and efficient workspace. Any Reception Counter should have plenty hidden storage; wires and screens should not be visible to visitors; and the work surface itself should be kept clean and uncluttered. This is particularly important, because a messy, disorganised reception desk will give visitors the impression that your business operates in the same way.

A contemporary reception unit is usually simple in design, using modern materials and bright colours, in order to make a lasting first impression that reflects your business. A traditional style might feature woodgrain colours which are common in most business reception areas.

How to Choose a Reception Desk?

Spacious reception office with visiting customer

When it comes to Receptions Desks, there are no standard sizes, shapes or designs, because each business’s reception area is unique.

The important questions to ask are:

  • Will the Reception Desk be manned? If so, by how many staff?
  • What equipment will need to be stored/used e.g. telephone, computer, CCTV, door entry system equipment etc.
  • Are there any particular storage requirements?
  • Does the desk need to comply with the DDA? (Disabled Discrimination Act)?
  • How much of a concern is security? For example, does the desk need to be enclosed and /or the staff member protected?
  • Straight or curved design?
  • Modern, contemporary or traditional design?
  • Is LED lighting required?
  • Would you like to incorporate your company logo or a welcome message (signage)?
  • What is your business? Bank? Marketing company? Leisure Centre? The impression you want to make will depend on your business, and this will dictate the type of reception furniture you choose.

Regarding size, choose a front desk that is proportional to your reception area. If you have a small space, get a small desk. If you have a large space, get a large desk. If you have a large space with high ceilings, get an appropriately sized reception desk to take full advantage of the area.

Finally, you should place your desk facing the front door, but not too close to it so as to create an unnecessary barrier.

The Waiting Area

Office reception area with soft seating, reception desk and media wall

The Waiting Area is another key point of the Reception Office. An inviting Reception Area should also have adequate seating for your visitors. It is crucial to invest in visitors chairs and soft seating, in order to be sure that people waiting in the Reception Area are comfortable and feel at ease. Think about where to locate the seats and the maximum number of seats that might be needed.

Media Walls

Spacestor Media Wall

Media walls is a term that usually refers to a wall of storage units that are built-in i.e. fixed to the structure of the office and also incorporates a TV or video conferencing IT System. These types of designs are usually found either in meeting rooms, boardrooms or receptions. When found in receptions the TV would usually be playing a promotional video regarding relating the company in question or possible a news channel.

Other Accessories

Finally, don’t forget to think about finishing touches, as these can make a big difference to the atmosphere: plants generate a natural sense of calm, for example, whilst artwork is inspiring. Depending on how much natural light your reception area gets, there’s sure to be plants to suit. Make sure that you add life and character to this office area with unique accessories and additions to the design. For example, there should be a coffee table with reading materials on it and offer a selection of  beverages could create a good first impression too. All these important features will help your clients feel more comfortable in your reception area.

Reception Desk Article showing plants

BT Office Furniture

There are many things to consider when designing your Reception Office. Here at BT Office you will find reception desks and other reception furniture in a variety of ranges, sizes, colours and styles; whatever your budget, we are sure we will have something to suit.

For further information on any of our products or services, call a friendly member of our experienced sales team on  0800 298 7033, or email [email protected]