Over the last twenty years, the reception area has gone from being a cosmetic afterthought, to an important part of the corporate identity of a business.
We’ve seen an even further shift from the standard reception desk, to the introduction of a more welcoming, open plan and efficient space. This can be used for a variety of activities, from breakout spaces to dining areas, as well as welcoming clients.
In a world where most offices are now open plan and where flexible working is becoming the norm, we’re witnessing a desire amongst clients to welcome employees and visitors straight into their office environment. Our client, Square Enix, is a great example of this; they deliberately removed the traditional ‘front of house’ experience to encourage visitors into the break out café zone, in order to create a more relaxed vibe. This format makes visitors feel welcome and gives them first-hand experience of the work culture of the company, rather than sitting them in the reception and ushering them straight through to a meeting room.
In light of this shift, it’s important not to lose the company’s brand identity. The reception space, not necessarily a desk, is the first contact a visitor has with the company, so the new area needs to represent the brand visually and in the ‘experience’ it creates. As leaders in office interior design, we help clients find the right balance and deliver a space that creates a first impression that lasts.
In addition to the aesthetic advantages, there are other benefits to consider when rethinking the traditional reception. Welcoming visitors straight in to the office environment can save occupiers a significant amount of space and therefore rent, as a smaller floor-plate is needed. In London, where rents are rising fast, any opportunities to maximise occupancy efficiency are welcome.
The importance of your reception area is not limited to just clients and visitors. Remember, it’s where your teams begin their workday, setting the tone for the remainder of their day. It can contribute to further inspiring wellbeing across your company by creating a natural daily boost to employee moods and ultimately, performance levels. After all, no one wants to start their day by walking into a dark and unwelcoming reception area.
So whether you want to re-think your reception space entirely or reduce the space dedicated to the area through office interior design, there are many options to consider. Our approach is to marry the benefits of a great client experience where they feel welcomed, with the cost and space savings that can come with creative, smart office interior design.