These days, many smaller workplaces don’t need a receptionist and this leads them to question whether they even need to include a reception area in their office fitout design. It is important to keep in mind that first impressions do matter; your reception area is your first point of internal marketing for visitors and new employees, so it is a crucial inclusion.
- DO include company signage. Visitors should be able to see a company sign before they open the front door, and the sign should continue to be visible as they wait. We generally recommend that the height of your smallest letter should be at least 80 millimetres high. 3D signage is always preferable and it shows the company has visual depth.
- DO pick specialised waiting chairs. Make sure that the furniture you have selected is for a commercial environment, not for your dining room at home. You should also ensure that the chairs are comfortable, as you never know how long a visitor will be waiting.
- DO think about lighting. This can actually change the way your space is perceived. The soft glow of a pendant light in your reception area can actually help your visitors to feel at ease. You might also like to introduce recessed lighting into the ceiling for a similar feel.
- DON’T greet visitors with your office. It’s likely that you don’t want your visitors to see the remnants of what your employees ate for lunch, so ensure that there is a division between the reception area and the rest of your office. Partitions and planter boxes work extremely well.
- DON’T forget about the mail. Putting it bluntly, mail that has been left on the floor in your reception says that you don’t care enough about your business to sort it out. Give an employee the task of dealing with the mail each day or ensure there is a place for it to be stored.
- DON’T make visitors find you. If you don’t have a receptionist, plan how you will be alerted to a visitors’ arrival and who will be responsible for greeting them. A first impression will quickly be ruined if the visitor has to walk up behind you at your desk to be noticed. A simple bell at reception can solve this problem quite easily.
By following our above list of dos and don’ts, you can rest assured that an office fitout design without a receptionist but with a reception area is successful. If you are a small workplace, we understand that you may not need someone to man the front desk all of the time – but this doesn’t mean that your visitors shouldn’t be provided with somewhere to wait or left to their own devices.