This year’s pandemic may have resulted in a shift away from the norm of working in an office to a strong work-from-home culture, but many organisations are still in need of a reception area to welcome visitors, direct enquiries and keep the business running smoothly.
It’s not just about the staff though - often the reception area is the very first room in your office that a client will see, so you want to make sure the space delivers the best first impression it can.
As well as the usual considerations when redesigning your reception area, Covid-19 has thrown some additional obstacles into the mix. Although challenging, it is possible to adapt your front-of-house environment in response to the pandemic, but it can also be challenging to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top considerations for creating a safe and welcoming reception area for your staff and visitors.
First up, it’s a word we’ve all heard a lot of recently - space. You’ll want to create as much space in your reception area as you possibly can for the safety of your staff and guests. In turn, this will increase staff confidence and ensure a warm welcome for those visiting your premises.
In most cases you’ll also need to introduce a one-way traffic flow to minimise contact, so don’t forget to consider this when making alterations. This might mean rearranging furniture, taking tables away or switching out bulky reception furniture for smaller options to make more room and allow for social distancing.
You’ll need to add screens to your reception desks to protect your staff. If you have multiple front-of-house staff, you might also need to add additional screens between them or put up partitions. These can be quickly installed with little disruption to your work processes and glass, acrylic and perspex office screens are all good options available to you.
You could also look at separating your staff by introducing smaller modular reception desks. If you have a small reception area with a large front desk, you could consider replacing it with a smaller desk to increase functional space.
Safety is on everyones’ minds right now, so increasing confidence among your employees and customers is key. Communicate with visitors before they’ve even entered the premises by adding signage to the outside of your building or reception area.
Signage should let visitors know when they’re allowed to enter your reception area, how many people are allowed in at any one time and where they’re allowed to stand. When inside, they should see signage reminding them to socially-distance and sanitise their hands. Give clear directions to ensure they won’t be left confused and exposed.
It’s important to make the right impression and for your guests to feel comfortable and welcome. Reception areas come in all shapes, sizes and styles depending on the type of business and brand image. Before deciding on your decoration, you’ll want to ask yourself a few key questions:
- What impression would you like to make? - Inviting? Professional? Modern?
- Does your reception area make your clients feel comfortable and welcome?
- What do you need your reception area to do in terms of functionality?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to move onto the next step - designing your reception area.
If you’re having difficulties with making alterations to your workspace in the wake of Covid-19, take a look at some of our recent blogs:
Even after the COVID-19 crisis is over, it won’t be business as usual but we’re here to help you re-define your office and reception experience.
Get in touch and organise a consultation with one of our experts to further explore the interior design and social distancing solutions available to you.