Have you ever wondered why big companies, large enterprises, and multinational organisations bother with their websites so much? It’s not like their bottom lines depend on the sales their websites bring. It’s because it is their first point of contact with their existing and prospective customers. Essentially, the website is the digital version of the office reception.
Most brick and mortar business owners will not hesitate in telling you that the office reception is one of the most important components of any office. It is the front end that virtually every client, supplier, and customer sees and interacts with. It is the place where people you do business with are asked to wait. Hence, it is the place where these individuals often judge your business on.
If you visit any of the really big corporates, you’ll see a highly classy office reception that is designed with the visitors’ comfort in mind. In case you were wondering, in websites, this is known as user experience. An office reception that doesn’t only cater to the visitors’ needs but also oozes oomph will not only help in the business’s reputation management but also sales as it will subtly make people more inclined towards the business.
Thus, if you’re building or setting up your office, you need to ensure an office reception that gives visitors a good impression. Here are some tips to start you off on this new endeavour.
Office Reception Tip #1: Natural Elements Soothe the Mind
With all the modern technology and innovative inventions of today, it is very easy to forget the simple yet breath-taking beauty in nature. No one is guiltier of this than businesses. Incorporating natural elements into the office reception can go a long way in completing a design and making it aesthetically pleasing.
For example, the natural green provided by indoor plants can really add to the reception space of an office. These plants could be big and small. They could be placed in corners or on table and desk tops. What’s more is that you can actually get other colours in nature other than the natural green of plants.
The same can be said for natural lighting. When lighting their premises, most businesses will work incredibly hard to reduce energy consumption. They’ll utilise various methods including LED lighting and even motion sensors. What they forget, however, is that they could simply use natural lighting to not only save energy but also improve the environment of their offices.
Moreover, if used right, plants and natural lighting can add a whole new dimension to the office reception.
Office Reception Tip #2: Use Artificial Lighting as Highlights
Lighting is crucial to appearances and functionality. The best photographers play with it all the time to create some real masterpieces. If they can do it in photography for the sake of creativity, why can’t you do it in your office reception for the sake of branding? The trick is to use what, when, and in what combination.
Just because you’re using natural light in the office reception doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use artificial lights at all. In fact, natural light, by itself, will give the place a very basic feel. Similarly, artificial lighting, by itself, gives a place a very stark feel. It is only when the two are combined that the real magic happens.
You can leave the natural lighting for the functional aspect i.e. lighting up the office reception. Additionally, you should use artificial lighting to highlight aspects of the room. This could be anything including the reception desk, wall art, passageways, and even nooks and niches.
While natural lighting will liven up the office space, artificial lighting will add nuance and subtlety to it.
Office Reception Tip #3: Wall Art Counters That Emptiness
Bare walls also add to the impression of sterility. Rooms with empty walls are actually considered to be quite cold and uninviting. This is exactly why the larger businesses try to incorporate one type of wall art or another into their setups. Incorporating wall art into your office reception design will, therefore, mean a number of things.
First, it will keep the room from feeling too stark or cold. Second, it will add another layer of sophistication to your office reception. Third, it will allow you to display your business’s intelligence, beliefs, and thought processes. And finally, it will give you a chance to contribute to your branding exercises.
Needless to say, it is advisable to choose the colour scheme of your wall art on the basis of the overall colour scheme of the room as well as the individual colour of the walls.
Office Reception Tip #4: Keep Front Desk Approachable
The purpose of your office reception is to act as the primary point of contact for your business. It is where the first enquiries, requests, guests, or correspondences for the business are received. Inside the office reception, the first point of contact is the front desk.
To serve this purpose well, the front desk in your office reception needs to at least be approachable. Ideally, it should be welcoming. One of the mistakes that businesses make with their front desks is that they keep it high to portray a sense of power and give the front desk operator some privacy.
However, doing this also makes the desk unapproachable. To keep your front desk approachable, you should keep it medium high i.e. near the waist. It should never reach the shoulder level.
Office Reception Tip #5: Personalise the Space
Personalising the space has a different meaning for your office and your office reception. While you may personalise your room with any items that catch your fancy or any items that have special significance for you, you can’t do the same with your office reception.
Your office reception needs to be personalised from the perspective of your business. It needs to have items that not only reflect your business’s personality but also puts it in a positive light. Here are some examples.
- You can highlight your business’s charity initiatives so that people know that your business is socially responsible.
- Your logo needs to be in a prominent position in the office reception, so as to boost its recall value in people’s eyes.
- You could display either industry or company literature that visitors can pick up and flip through if they feel inclined.
- You can display all the awards your business has won, regardless of how big or small they are.
- You can exhibit your business’s branding and marketing materials.
- You can even have a video screen playing some video about your business on loop.
Office Reception Tip #6: Takeaway Knick-Knacks Matter
Even the most balanced individuals can be swayed with free gifts. While the more self-aware people will probably be swayed slightly, others will be swayed considerably. The point is that if you give away some free stuff, you can influence people positively.
Unfortunately, this is something that most businesses fail to consider while designing their office receptions. Simple takeaway knick-knacks such as branded sweets or even branded stationary can end up swaying an individual to your end of the ring. It doesn’t matter whether the individual is a supplier, customer, or partner, seeing branded sweets or pens is going to have an impact on him.
Moreover, even when irrelevant people take these sweets and pens from your office reception to other locations, they only give your brand more traction and visibility.