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Professional, Efficient, and Welcoming: How to Plan Out a Reception Area

Desk Office
When a client walks into a reception area, they will immediately begin to develop an opinion of the business. It is important that this room appear welcoming and that it is comfortable and functional. Here are some suggestions to help new businesses create this type of space. 

Add a Desk

Choose a desk that will not overwhelm the office. The layout helps with traffic flow and the convenience of the seating area, but even an amazing design plan will not make up for a desk that takes over the room. A recommendation for the size of reception rooms is 100 square feet plus an additional 10 square feet for each guest expected to be waiting at any given time.
In a reception area smaller than recommended be cautious about installing a desk that is large and heavy in appearance. Choose instead, one that is painted white or has a light stain. A sleek, minimalist workstation design is also a good option. Try to keep any file cabinets or cupboard and shelves at the level of the desktop or below to prevent a cluttered look.

Consider the Technology

Make certain the computer and the printer are wireless if the choice is made to use an open workstation in the reception area. If you choose not to do this, you may diminish the appeal of the office by the cluster of wires under the desk, and they could become a tripping hazard. Try to place any non-wireless equipment behind the desk and against the wall to conceal the cords.

Include Some Privacy

An L-shaped or U-shaped desk helps to define the reception area better than a basic rectangular desk. Privacy panels or screens can attach to all or part of a desk to give the receptionist privacy to view their files or make notes. Some panels are mesh or acrylic, so they let in light and do not completely close off the view.
ADA regulations require reception counters be accessible to everyone if the client must sign in or have access to a surface for completing paperwork. The height must be between 28" and 34" above the floor and clear of any clutter. The floor space around the counter and desk must also be large enough to accommodate all clients comfortably. 

Choose the Storage

Determine ahead how much paperwork and electronic equipment to have in the reception area. Avoid using this space to store all client files and office equipment because it could make the area too busy and cluttered. Keep only what is necessary for greeting clients and managing their accounts.

Make it Bright

A brightly lit reception area makes it easier for people to complete any paperwork and gives the illusion of space in smaller rooms. In spacious waiting areas, it is often more comfortable to have softer lighting above the seating. In these instances, a brightly lit reception area makes the work center stand out, so people know exactly where to go when entering.

Choose the Furniture

It is expensive to furnish an office, so consider the benefits of used furniture. It is often possible to afford better quality used items than what would be affordable if bought new. It is easy to look at furniture and determine its condition, so there are very few surprises with secondhand office products.
The only restriction when selecting used furniture is to match the furnishings as much as possible. For example, make certain all the wood is stained in a similar shade or choose all metal or painted wood.
At Ergo Office Furniture we know that everyone wants an office that is attractive and professional, but they also need it to be functional and affordable. Our inventory is filled with a variety of styles of both new and used pieces. Contact us to schedule an appointment or stop by the shop during business hours to browse the showroom.