Your waiting room is the first thing people see when they enter your office space, and it has a bigger impact than you may realize. Studies show that first impressions are made within 7 seconds of meeting someone, and the same could be said of your work place. When guests, stakeholders and employees enter the front doors, their first focal point is the reception desk. You want your best foot forward when greeting new and existing clients, so here are some specific ways to make sure your front desk, and by extension your brand experience, provides a positive reception.
Welcome, Yet Secure
The type of business you’re in does matter in the choice of a reception desk. If clients entrust you with extremely personal or secure information–such as an IT company selling state-of-the-art proprietary software, or a doctor’s office, where patients require privacy for their medical needs–you want a desk that acts as a barrier between the waiting room and the inner sanctum.
However, barriers make people uncomfortable. While you want to control who gets past reception, you don’t want to turn people who have business with you away. A desk with a high counter is more secure, but it also separates your point-of-contact person from those seeking the help your company provides. Consider a lower desk surface, even if the desk itself is wide and imposing. This hides your receptionist less from incoming customers, and gives a sense of openness. Yes, you’re keeping sensitive information secure beyond the desk, but you’re available to help those who seek you out.