We are all well aware that first impressions count. However when we think of first impressions our first thoughts turn towards things like job interviews, when making the right first impression, can be the difference between being successful in a job application or failing at the first hurdle. However have you considered the first impressions of your Kent or London office reception?
In the past an office reception area was mostly an after-thought – today the office reception has gone from being something secondary to the main office space to now being a very important part of any businesses corporate identify. This initial point of contact is your first chance to make a lasting impression. The design and layout of your office reception will speak volumes about you and your business to your visitors, potential business associates and new clients! If well designed, it can give your business a competitive advantage. It pays to make sure your office reception represents your business’ brand in the best possible light.
However the importance of your Kent or London office reception shouldn’t just be limited to visitors and clients. Don’t forget your staff will be walking through your reception area every day they come to work. Having the right office reception can contribute to setting the mood for your staff. After all, no one wants to start their day by walking into an unwelcoming and gloomy reception area. A well designed reception can therefore play an important role in boosting employee’s moods and ultimately, performance levels.
Regardless of the space you have for a reception area or your budget, it is possible to create an area or space that communicates exactly the right message to all of the people who are your stakeholders. One of the key things to achieving this is to get the right advice on how best to design and layout your reception area. Read on for some of the key questions you should be asking when it comes to your reception area.
What Will Your Office Reception Be Used For?
Clearly when it comes to your office reception it needs to be functional in meeting your business needs, inviting to everyone who enters the area, aesthetically pleasing and a comfortable place to wait.
When it comes to designing your office reception it’s important to think about the purpose(s) it will serve. What will your office reception be used for? If the reception is to be used for a variety of functions e.g. greeting and hosting visitors, a meeting area to be used by staff, a breakaway area or for accepting deliveries; then you’ll need to incorporate certain elements and features into the design.
What Message Do You Want Your Office Reception to Give?
When it comes to the design of your office reception you need to consider what message you are trying to send.
For the majority of companies it’s a good idea to design your reception in a way that ties into your brand message e.g. if you’re a creative company you may want to design your reception area with custom graphics and fun colours to reflect your company’s personality. If you’re an accountant you may want to project a feeling of trustworthiness and competency.
No matter what your business is you’ll want your office reception area to be welcoming and to make visitors feel comfortable.
The Design of Your Office Reception
In order to design an office reception that delivers on first impressions there are a number of elements that should be considered:
It’s vital to utilise the space available to you efficiently to provide a reception area that works for your business but keeps a balance between fulfilling your needs and appearing to be warm and welcoming. There’s nothing worse than walking into a crowded reception that’s cluttered, overcrowded and noisy and likely to make visitors wish they were somewhere else.
For reception areas there is likely to be a lot of foot traffic. It’s therefore important to invest in furniture; especially seating, that is durable and made of materials that will resist wear and tear over time. However it’s equally important that any furniture used should look good and fulfil its purpose e.g. seating should be comfortable and in keeping with the rest of the decor and company branding.
It’s worth considering what type of flooring will best suit your reception area and the effect you are trying to achieve e.g. plush carpet will suit a reception where you want to create an atmosphere of luxury.
Where there is going to be high foot fall a highly durable floor may be a better choice to withstand the constant use e.g. polished concrete is a stylish and extremely low-maintenance option for reception flooring.
An inexpensive third reception flooring option is carpet tiles which are are less expensive than regular carpet and individual tiles can be replaced where wear and tear results.
Having the right lighting for your visitors is important. Too bright and it can be tiring on the eyes; too dark and it can make your reception appear gloomy and depressing.
Just as natural light is important in offices, it’s also important in reception areas. Wherever possible utilise natural lighting and supplement with artificial lighting when needed. You can also choose to implement a range of different lighting types depending on your requirements e.g. standard ceiling lights or spot lights, feature lighting to highlight parts of your reception desk and up or down-lights to highlight areas you want to draw attention to.
Given that reception areas can be busy, a well designed reception area will take account of the acoustics of the space available. Hard surfaces maybe durable but they reflect sound whereas soft furnishings can help to absorb noise. Designs should, where possible, incorporate soft furnishings and sound absorbing materials is help with noise reduction.
We’ve talked about how colour can affect a space in many other articles but it’s worth emphasising again the importance of colour cannot be underestimated!
Choosing the right colour can make a space inviting but it can also make smaller reception areas feel larger than they are. Incorporating your brand colours into the design can make a statement.
Bespoke Office Reception Features
If you’re looking for an individual look then bespoke reception furniture is an option e.g. a unique reception desk tailored specifically to your business and the space available can have a huge impact.
In a previous project for Rentavent our designers and carpenters created a bespoke reception desk that would become a statement piece of furniture. The result was a hand built sculpted reception desk that encapsulated the curves and colours within the Rentavent logo. Recessed LED lighting was also integrated to add the ‘Wow factor’ and a contemporary look.
How We Can Help
For office reception area design and refurbishment in Kent and London look no further than JBH Refurbishments. Contact us on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact form.