How to make the office reception more inviting

The office reception area is the first point for setting a good impression on the visitors and the clients. There are often small ways which when implemented can make the reception more inviting. The article gives a few ideas which could go in for making a small reception more comfortable and appealing.

Reception, as the name goes refers to the area where people from outside are received and thereby forwarded to the right contact centre depending on the requirement. No doubt, it has its significance for a business house. It is this area that sets the first impression on the outsiders and the guests who come to the business house for business prospects or for any other work. The first impression thus created lasts long and goes a great way in shaping the future deals with the company. So the business houses need to go a step forward in going for the layout and the designing of this area.

Sectors that need to have a good reception

The reception area is important to all the sectors of businesses. However, it can be said to be more important to the business houses providing services to the public and the clients. Like the Legal firms, the medical practitioners' office and such other areas where the client has to sit back and wait for the services to be provided to him there and then.

However, the same may not be said for some other type of service provider. The reception area may not much imperative to the cargo and courier service provider. Here the client does not wait at the reception for the services. Likewise, it is also not very significant to a manufacturing plant. Nevertheless, the reception of the corporate offices of these non-service providing business houses needs to be maintained in a way so as to be setting a mark on the memories of the visitors.

Basic furnishings required in the office reception

The size as well as the layout of the reception depends to a large extent on the type and the size of the business. However, there are certain furnishings that every reception should have to call it a reception.
  • The reception desk with the accessories associated with it. Eg. registers, pen stand and the stationery items.
  • Phone with intercom facility.
  • Comfortable chair for the receptionist
  • Couch or sofa for the guests with the centre table in place with the dailies and refreshments in case served.

Points to be followed while setting the reception

While setting up a reception, the following points should always be kept in mind:

The reception should be inviting

The reception frames the first impression on the minds of the visitors. Hence, the area should be such that it is appealing and inviting. It should be very happy and should be welcoming. You need not spend a fortune on the reception to make it look nice, rather small measures less expensive things when kept in proper place can also make the area look good.
To add to the appearance, a polite and helping person at the reception desk could do wonders.

It should be easy to maintain

The area should be easily maintainable. Each day it would be cleaned and things kept in proper order. Measures should be taken so as to keep it dust free all time. Dirty free mats should be used as and where required. Also energy efficient lightings should be used.

It should be comfortable to the visitors

This should be the primary focus of the reception. The visitor should feel comfortable in the reception while he waits for the concerned person to meet him. He should be supplied with some reading materials while he waits for the meeting.

How can the reception be improved in the existing set up

There is always scope for improvement. By using some common things, the ambience of the area would improve many folds.

Use of decorative plants

Decorative indoor plants can be used in the corners of the reception area. These need less water and maintenance. But one feels close to nature. Avoid using too much of these as too many of these may make the reception a little too clumsy.

Magazine rack should be placed

If space allows one must have a magazine rack in the reception where the literature about the company should be kept. Other wise a small magazine holder can also be hung on these wall. Else these can be kept on the centre table or with the receptionist. If the office/business has a lot to do with firms and brochure ( schools, colleges or any academic institution), then this is a must.

Highlighting the logos

The company should make sure that it highlights the logo and there name in the reception. This could be free publicity. And there logo could remain in the memory of these visitors as well.

Display of the social media names

The company website and the social media names should also be displayed in apparent places in the area like on the stationary being used in the reception or as a label or tag on the magazines.

Display of the mission, vision of the organization

A separate board mentioning the vision and mission of the organization can be framed to decorate the reception wall along with the notice board.

Collage and display art can be hung on the reception wall

A collage can be done on the news events highlighting the organization or the industry. A collage can also be done using the snaps of the special events of the organization. This can be placed on prominent places in the reception.

Spot lighting of some areas or boards

Spot lights should also be used depending on the requirements to highlight the mission of the origination, the events displayed as collage or any art work being used to decorate the reception. The proper and intelligent usage of spot lights gives a magnificent effect to the reception.

Feedback board can be added

A simple white board with a marker can also be kept in the reception if the area is big enough for that. This white board can be used by the visitors to give their comments on any issue be it the organization or any particular purpose. This could be kept in the colleges where there alumni and the guest faculties can write about their experiences in the college.

These are just the few of the ideas that I have seen being incorporated in various organizations. Many more such creative ideas may also be implemented by the management and staff in their respective organizations to create a better reception area so as the give a good first impression on their customers and clients.

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Author: Kailash Kumar28 Mar 2016 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 6

I would like to share here my experiences about remodeling reception area of my office which was a Government of India office discharging the role of a regulatory organization. Being a regional office, visitors from four states of India used to frequent the office in connection with seeking solutions to their complicated problems. My first priority was to minimize first contact time period. In case of hectic and busy days, I used to call 6 - 7 visitors at a time inside my chamber. They used to feel very happy while sitting on sofa set in my room instead of waiting on couches in the visitors lobby. In case the crowd used to be even more on certain specific 'last dates' etc., I used to go myself in the visitors lobby and used to interact with them there only. However in general following measures were adopted to make the reception area purposeful-
1. Answers to all possible questions which were likely to arise in the minds of the visitors were displayed in the lobby.
2. Detailed guidelines about submission and monitoring of online applications were displayed.
3. Guidance about preparations of applications and check lists for pre-scrutiny of applications before submission were displayed.
Despite shortage of staff and other resources, time required in disposal of applications was reduced only by displaying all relevant information in the reception area.

Author: Swati Sarnobat22 Mar 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

The office reception should be located at the entrance so that the moment the clients or customers enter, they can find the essential information. It should consist of important items such as calendars, document pins, gums, adhesives, markers, etc.

Author: Venkiteswaran06 May 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 3

Anyone who is going to a place first time will be a bit nervous. Be it office or someone's home. A very positive and sincere reception and welcome will make that person much comfortable.

First impression is the best impression. That is why now a days in many offices they give due importance for the Reception desk.

But this article deals only with the non-human factors in reception arrangement. Without the human factor, even a highly decorated reception will be a failure to deliver the expected result. The reception desk should be handled by people having an empathetic and positive attitude. They should have a pleasant and pro-active behaviour. The reception desk person should be able to attend and communicate to each visit or unbiased and in simple words. Half of the inhibitions and irritations occurring in office work can be avoided by the proper, decent, civil, kind and empathetic dealing by the reception desk.

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