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First encounters of the reception kind

What do your visitors really think about your business? When they walk through your office door into your reception are they experiencing what you want them to experience?

Here are ten things you can do to make sure your visitors gain a positive first impression of your reception area. Can you place a tick against all ten?

1. Smile

It’s the easiest part, but immediate acknowledgement and a friendly greeting go a long way to putting any visitor at ease and creating a positive and memorable impression.

And a personalised greeting will show your visitor they matter to your business – ask your colleagues to let you know who they are expecting, so you have a name to hand.

2. Lighting

You want your reception to be an inviting environment, and light, particularly natural light, boosts mood and creates a feeling of space.

If you do not have the advantage of large windows, avoid harsh lighting and opt for more subtle lighting solutions: concealed lighting or backlit panels can enhance your reception desk area for example, while spot lighting can be used to great effect to highlight company branding.

3. Branding

Is your company branding clearly and effectively communicated? You could opt for manifestations of your branding on glass doors or partitions, or incorporate your logo into the design of your reception desk.

Additionally, you can customise your reception desk to align with your brand colours by selecting your brand colour for the board, trim or modesty board.

4. Seating

What do your reception chairs or sofas say about your company? Are they comfortable? Are they in a good condition? Do they tie in with your brand look and feel?

There are many considerations when choosing reception furniture: contemporary or modern, durability, colour, fabric, leather or vinyl… but ultimately you want your visitor to feel relaxed and at ease and not distracted by any wear and tear!

5. Tea, Coffee, Water?

‘Would you like a tea or coffee?’ It’s a simple way to make your visitor feel welcome. And you can gain extra credit with a bowl of fruit – or a bowl of sweets – always a talking point!

Additionally, having an office water cooler / dispenser available will also help minimise the demands on the dishwasher!

6. Company Literature

Providing promotional material about your company for visitors to leaf through is standard practice, but how about a book containing your latest press cuttings, information on your company charity, an office cabinet displaying your industry awards, or magazines on your industry sector – perhaps those containing your company advertisements?

Any visitor waiting time is a great opportunity to showcase your business credentials and successes – make the most of it!

7. WiFi

Do you have WiFi access available for your visitors? Or somewhere to plug in / recharge a laptop of tablet? They’ll thank you for the thought. And it will come in handy for those impromptu meetings that always seem to end up in the reception area.

8. Air con

Too cold, too hot? This is one of the ongoing saga’s of all office environments… and equally important to get right in your reception area.

Other than adjusting your air con setting or opening the windows, plants can also help. Not only do they enhance the environment visually, they also absorb toxic chemicals from the air and have a natural cooling effect, helping to maintain a more ambient office temperature.

9. Access

What about disabled access? Do you have a ramp for wheelchair users? Is there a disabled toilet? Is there a lift as well as stairs? You need to ensure all your visitors are made to feel equally welcome and that your facilities are accessible to everyone.

Equally, are you familiar with the regulatory requirements and signage you should have in place in your reception area – fire exit procedures for example.

10. The ‘Facilities’

And finally, after all that tea and coffee, are the bathroom facilities clearly signposted?…

If you couldn’t place a tick against all ten, here’s where we can help:

View our reception chairs and soft seating >>

View our reception desks >>

View our reception refurbishment case study >>

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