The only thing more frigid than a cold room is a dull reception. This is the first space that welcomes people into your office and it is easy to tell the culture of an office from the reception (and receptionist). Unfortunately, décor for this space is usually an afterthought. Light brown desks, black chairs closely places to each other and a whole lot of jejune is what we had in most receptions. Then came the wave of happy. Work environments loosened up. Interior designers got hired to work on offices. Receptions started to feel warm. Plants made their way to receptions. They no longer have to be spaces that you endure but rather it is the starter of a client’s experience in your space.
When deciding on the piece to use, think of the receptionist and client. From the latter’s view, have a logo of the company or something that one can easily identify the company with. It makes you space easy to find and saves time for someone who might be lost.
On the other side cater to the needs of the receptionist. Provide organizational pieces that help keep the space neat. A sense of order creates an aura of calm and makes work easier. The desk should be big enough to provide enough space between the receptionist and the guest.
Reception Chairs, Sofas and Lounge
Do you know that feeling you get when you sink into the couch after a long day? You even begin to question why adulthood is hard. At that particular time that couch is the best thing that happened to your back. Now imagine if every guest had that feeling every time they came to your reception. They would be delighted to be in that space and never want to leave.
There are two ways to do it; single chairs put together or sofas. The sofas could be a one, two or three seater. It might be imprudent to have a four or five seater. You do not want strangers stuck in one chair. Having a variety will accommodate everyone; the claustrophobic person who is catching up on their reading or three people who have a pitch together.
Given how temperamental the Nairobi weather is, layering is the only way to beat it. Sadly your trench coat might be luggage at your midday appointment. The easiest thing to do is dump the coat in one of the chairs. This clutters the space and you inconvenience someone else who needs to have a seat. To avoid this, the reception should have a coat rack (s). It also does help that during the rainy season, water only drips in one corner.
Speaking of the rain, the next time you check into a reception and you know your shoes are muddy, how many mats do you think you should have to clean your shoes? My money is on two: one to scrape the mud or debris it on the outside mat, followed up by dabbing your shoes on the second mat preferably inside the reception. After two or three wipes you will be confidently confident.
This then means the office has to provide several mats at the reception. Have the cleaning personnel maintain the floor mats as clean as possible. Inside the reception have a small mat to give the space character. The rest of the floor should be wooden or tiled. Both are easier to clean.
No one should pick up after anyone after anyone at a reception. Let us admit it though, some people have the butternut candy and let the wrap fly. Have dustbins around the reception.
When you have small sizes it is easy to hound the guests with them. No one in their right mind will litter the reception when there is a dustbin staring at them. At least I hope so.
Next week we explore ideal decor for the reception.