Your lobby or reception area serves many vital functions for your company. Among the most important of those functions is the first impression your space makes on your visitors, so your furniture choices, design, and layout are extremely important. Here are some reception and lobby furniture ideas from our experts.
Match Lobby Furniture To The Lobby’s Purpose
The type of reception furniture you choose will depend on your company. Some companies need a place for people to sit and wait, while others move straight through. Do your visitors need to check in with a person or simply be directed by signage or an automated system? How many will wait at any one time and how long do they typically wait? The answers to these questions will determine what reception furniture is best for your company, so let’s look at some general ideas for all types of companies, then you can reach out to an expert for specialized recommendations for your reception area.
It is important to note that medical office reception areas have very specialized requirements. They need to be extremely durable and able to handle a higher standard of cleaning and sanitizing for health and safety. They must have bleach cleanable fabrics and you can’t use Clorox or Lysol wipes on fabric unless it is very strong bleach cleanable or “Crypton Super Fabric” which prevents liquids from penetrating. We are happy to discuss this in detail if you give us a call and we can our clients on the ideal medical-grade furnishing for their situation.
The Basics for a Typical Reception Area or Lobby
- Every professional lobby will have some sort of welcome station that is clearly defined. This can be anything from a small sign-in station to a fully staffed reception desk. Make yours express your company’s aesthetic and you will make the right impression.
- Most reception areas also require some amount of seating to allow clients, prospects, or customers to wait comfortably. We don’t recommend sofas unless you see mostly families. Otherwise, you may cause discomfort among your visitors by forcing them to sit together or choose to sit far apart.
- Most companies will also need that intangible something that makes an impression on their visitors. This is accomplished with design and includes elements like color and styles choices, art on the walls, sculptures, water features, music, lighting, and plants.
- Finally, there are practical considerations in the age of covid like clear screen separators, creating distance from other visitors, and having hand sanitizers available. These things can convey your concern for the well-being of your clientele.
All of this together creates that all-important first impression which will shape visitors’ opinions about your company and its level of success.
Here are some of our favorite ideas to enhance your reception area or lobby:
- Happy employees make a good impression and a quality workstation can be a big part of that. If your reception employees have a safe, functional, and comfortable reception desk, they will be situated to make the best impression and do their best work.
- Generally speaking, your office should be both welcoming and interesting. An interesting space always makes a good impression, as long as it is also clean, bright, and uncluttered. Lighting, plants, water features, and art all play a role in this, but the furniture you select can play the starring role for the ideal use of resources. You will need fewer accessories if your furniture makes the statement.
- We like to recommend careful placement of the reception desk so that it is immediately visible and accessible, but not intimidating like a barrier.
- Design the space with the flow in mind. In most cases, employees also travel through the reception area each day, so consider everyone who views and uses the space. Our experts can help you with these designs and show you how they can impact your company.
Professional Office Furniture vs Residential Furniture
Just like we discussed the higher standards for medical offices, there is also an essential difference between residential furniture and commercial furniture. Residential furniture is not designed for the heavy wear and tear that office furniture receives and it cannot stand up to proper cleaning and sanitizing. The durability of construction and the durability of the fabric is incredibly important. In fact, commercial furniture goes through rigorous testing to meet or exceed ANSI BIFMA standards.
If your chairs are getting creaky, or your fabric becomes dingy within months or a year of purchase, you have not saved money, but wasted money and the opportunity to make a good impression. We feel strongly that this investment is just like your other office expenses; you get what you pay for. We advise our clients how to make the best use of their budget and make the most of their office design, including the reception area or lobby, and we would love the chance to work with you, so please give us a call at (602) 840-6678 to set up a consultation with our experts.