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It only takes 7 seconds to form a first impression, so as a business you need to ensure that you’re making the best initial impression possible. For most businesses this is often formed in the reception area. It’s a person’s first contact with the business, it’s vital that your reception space encompasses your core values and shows who you are as a company. The impression you want to make will differ from business to business but you want to avoid any cold, uncomfortable and unwelcoming spaces to ensure that visitors feel instantly at ease upon entering your business space. The question is, how do you actually do this?   

Welcoming wait

Just like meeting someone for the first time, it’s always nice to be welcomed with open arms; the same goes for the reception area. Whether you’re a client visiting or a potential employee attending an interview, a reception should feel inviting and put you at ease (especially helpful to shake those pre-interview nerves). Seating plays a key role in this, including a specific waiting area. No one likes to stand around awkwardly whilst waiting for you, it’s a little uncomfortable and will make them more aware of the time they have to wait to be seen. Ultimately, the size of the reception will determine the type of seating you can accommodate, but it’s crucial to consider comfort, durability and how you would like people to wait. Would you prefer people to sit in individual chairs or amongst others on a sofa? If limited for space, modular seating can be a great option, giving you the flexibility to arrange them how you like within the space provided.

Special touches

Nothing beats a hot drink and some complimentary biscuits while you wait and this goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. Straight away the visitor feels valued and looked after, which helps to support why someone would want to work there or do business with that particular company. Providing free WiFi is important to many visitors, as most people need and now expect good internet wherever they go. The little touches can make a big difference.  

Functional workspace

Let’s not forget that the reception area is still a workspace for reception staff, meaning functionality is key. The reception desk is usually one of the first points of calls, but it’s important to consider the layout and select a desk that is practical whilst aligning with the brand image. Looking for a desk to seat multiple staff members? The Elite Windsor Radiused reception desk is the perfect choice. Or perhaps you’re limited for space and the Ascend Secretarial Return desk would be a great option. Accommodating staff as well as visitors is essential. This extends to storage, as reception areas should have clutter free desks with the ability to file and store paperwork. Filing cabinets and office cupboards are great storage solutions to avoid clutter and increase office organisation. Easy access to phones and stationary is also a necessity as you never know when you might need to jot something down.   

Make your brand known

Apart from your brand logo on the building, as soon as you walk into the reception area a company’s presence should be clear right from the get go. This goes beyond just putting a logo on the wall, but providing branded pens, notepads and coasters. Things that people will notice and can even take away with them. This all contributes to a person’s first impression of your brand and helps people remember you; brand awareness is key. 

Colour scheme contributes to this awareness and should ideally match the company’s brand guidelines to create a cohesive brand image. Lots of mismatched colours will result in a cluttered, disorganised and even chaotic space. Carefully consider the colour of your reception furniture, what will resonate with your brand image? There are some great furniture solutions with multiple colour options including the Herman Miller Embody Chair, from blue to orange, green and, even pink, there’s certainly a colour to match your brand. 

The reception area often acts as the focal point of the business for new visitors, clients and potential employees, therefore, first impressions really do count. Think about how you want people to perceive your brand and whether your reception area reflects this? At Office Furniture Scene, we have a wide selection of reception desks and reception seating that can be customised to suit your individual needs. If you need some advice on the best furniture for your reception area call us on 0845 0737230

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