9 Key Considerations When Designing A Reception Area


The reception area is the first experience guests, and visitors will have on your business. The receiving area will be dealing with potential clients, business partners, and aspiring employees. For these essential functions, it is imperative to design a reception area that can carry the company’s brand or service.

There are a myriad of designs available for inspiration. Some reception areas come with opulent furnishings while others come with modern or technologically-ready features. Taking in ideas from other existing reception areas is an excellent initial step when planning for your reception although it is best to have a reception design that is streamlined to cater to your company’s particular needs.

Importance of a Reception Area

A. Shows a Professional and Well Established Company
B. An Added Buffer or Screening for Visitors and Guests
C. A Comfortable Waiting Area
D. An Indirect Marketing Tool
E. Monitor the Ingress and Egress of Employees and Visitors
F. Acts as an Information Desk

Designing the forefront of your business can be an overwhelming task. We have placed together the most important considerations to make a compelling design for your reception area.

9 Key Considerations When Designing a Reception Area infographic

1. Branding and Service

As the forefront of your company, a reception area should be able to represent the brand and service professionally. Typical reception desks may have the company’s logo on the backdrop of the reception area or placed on the front surface of the reception counter or desk. Either way, the brand or name should be clear and highlighted, as it will be the first thing a visitor should notice. Three dimensional and LED or neon lighted brand name and logos are common ways to emphasize the branding further. Although company promotional videos played on the TV are also becoming an accessible mode of brand display today.

2. Layout and Size

The capacity and design layout of your reception area will depend primarily on the type of service your company provides. Though generally, a reception area should have one seating area, a desk or counter, and seats for visitors. Enterprises that may need more than one receptionist may include medical facilities and large banks.
The average height for a raised counter is 1.5 m, which is high enough to cover a monitor or desktop. Make sure to choose a counter height or design that won’t obstruct or create a blind spot from the receptionist’s point of view.

3. Clear Point of Navigation

Since the reception area is the first area, visitors become familiarized, place signage, and point of direction. If you have a large enough office space, place a map or floorplan near the reception desk where guests may easily see.

4. Workstation Productivity

A receptionist must have ample space to maneuver comfortably. Besides, the workstation should accommodate computers, intercom phones, documents, and other necessary equipment. Consider the location and number of convenience outlets placed within the reception area. Also, an ergonomically designed furniture should be considered. A comfortable seating or counter height prevents strain on the receptionist’s part as they typically work hours standing or sitting behind the reception area.

5. Comfortable Seating for Visitors

The type of seating arrangement and design will depend on your company’s service. For a rule of thumb, select seating furniture similar for lounge areas as it gives off a more corporate look.

Reading materials such as magazines and newspapers have been a staple for most reception areas. Today, you may also provide television viewing for your visitors where you can flash promotional videos or other entertainment programs.

6. Security Features

Design your reception area where documents, equipment, and other workstation essentials are secured from intruders or assailants. Place passwords on computers or cash registers to prevent unwanted access.

Have the reception counter or desk high part that are high enough to protect the reception desk behind. Additional security features such as panic or alert buttons can be discretely placed underneath the reception desk. Installing a CCTV is common for most reception areas. Make sure though to have a high-quality CCTV camera installed, and that has a night vision mode.

7. Lighting

Sufficient lighting can improve or change the atmosphere in a room or space. The type of lighting layout, color, or fixture will depend on the kind of service you offer. For instance, a spa reception area may use calmer lighting colors while a hotel may use warm colors for an inviting mood.

Lighting should also be functional. Make sure to provide ample lighting for the workstation, and that can be adjusted at times during the day. It may also be advisable to place the centralized lighting control within reach of the receptionist.

8. Overall Look

At first glance, a successfully designed reception area should be able to clearly communicate and introduce the brand or service of the company. For example, a legal office may look professional or even intimidating to project a no-nonsense atmosphere. For a children’s health facility, meanwhile, will need to be inviting to young children.

9. Initial Cost and Expenses

From the budding entrepreneur to an established enterprise, it is best to get a ballpark figure on how much it will cost to get your reception up and running smoothly. Going beyond your expected expenses before launching a business may incur additional problems. Smartly plan before hiring a contractor, and don’t hesitate to ask questions when unsure.

Be mindful of the cost implications of your design. Geometrical or straight-edged counters or desks generally may cost less compared to curvy designs. Constructing irregular shapes consumes more time as well as specialized skills to build.

Strike a balance between cost and quality. Materials such as travertine or granite slabs can be more expensive but are durable compared to synthetic materials.

Ultimately a reception area welcomes people who directly or indirectly can affect the success of the business. That is why it is important to include important considerations to make your company’s reception area functional and, at the same aesthetically appealing.

In all, the success of your reception area will depend mainly on the design, the hired personnel, and equipment. If in doubt, it might be better to hire a professional designer to take your insights and refine them. This way, you save time and money in the long run.

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