From the minute a client or customer steps into your reception area, they begin formulating their first impression of your business. As a result, your choice of furniture can really impact their judgment of your company’s professionalism and reputation. Organizing your reception area to help your visitors relax, wait comfortably, and feel secure about doing business with you is key no matter what field you work in.
Here are some tips about how to choose furniture that suits your reception area.
Most offices have a reception desk and sitting area, the basic function of which gives the receptionist a place to work and the guests a place to wait. However, random configurations of chairs, tables, and desks usually aren’t ideal. The furnishings you choose determine the functionality of your reception area, and often depend on the circumstances of your business.
Analyze the traffic flow in your office as well as how your reception area is used. For example, if you’re a business that has customers wait for longer periods of time, such as in a medical office setting, you might prioritize more comfortable sofa seating. If your reception area doubles as an employee work space, then the furniture should be organized to allow for collaboration and meeting with guests.
Appropriate to Room Size
While your furniture should be functional to the needs of your office, it should also suit the size of the room. Don’t fill a small space with large couches, as it will make the reception area feel cramped. Similarly, even if your business regularly has high traffic, don’t make your waiting area so sparse that there are not enough seats for all your visitors.
Having enough guest and reception seating (with seats to spare) is a good idea as most people avoid sitting elbow-to-elbow with strangers unless there’s no other choice, and you never know when a large group might come in.
Style and Tone
Whether modern and trendy or traditional and dignified, every business should brand itself to customers. The style of your reception furniture should definitely match the tone of your business, as the waiting area is where many visitors make first impressions.
For instance, a lawyer’s office might choose furniture with more wood, leather, and stone elements to match the gravity of their profession, while a cutting-edge electronics company might lean more towards hard plastic or metal, brighter colors, and contemporary furniture.
Most businesses want their furniture to look good and last for a long time. Determine how durable your reception decor needs to be by examining how frequently the desks, chairs, and other furnishings will be used. The type of guests that are usually accommodated should be considered as well.
While this depends on various factors, in general, reception areas that often host children should have more durable materials than those that only see grown professionals. Waiting rooms that expect heavy usage would be wise to choose more resilient and sturdy furniture, while places like doctors’ offices should ensure their upholstery does not trap germs and is easily cleaned.