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Top 5 Tips for Designing an Office Reception Area

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The office reception area is an essential part of any workplace as it serves as the first point of contact for clients, visitors, and employees. A well-designed reception area not only creates a positive first impression but also sets the tone for the rest of the office. It is crucial to carefully consider the design elements and layout to ensure functionality, comfort, and professionalism.

In this article, we will discuss the top five tips for designing an office reception area. These tips include creating a welcoming ambiance, optimizing space utilization, incorporating comfortable seating, incorporating brand identity, and utilizing technology effectively. By following these guidelines, you can create a reception area that reflects your company’s values, enhances productivity, and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Creating a Welcoming Ambiance The first tip for designing an office reception area is to create a welcoming ambiance that immediately puts visitors at ease. This can be achieved through careful selection of colors, lighting, and decor.
Colors: Choosing the right color scheme is crucial as it sets the overall tone of the reception area. It is important to select colors that align with your company’s brand identity while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Neutral colors, such as beige or light gray, can provide a timeless and sophisticated look, while pops of vibrant colors can add energy and excitement.


Proper lighting is essential to create a welcoming ambiance. Natural light is ideal, as it promotes productivity and enhances the overall mood. If natural light is limited, incorporate a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a well-lit and comfortable environment.


The decor in the reception area should reflect your company’s values and culture. Consider incorporating elements that showcase your company’s history, achievements, or unique features. Artwork, plants, and well-placed accessories can add personality and create a visually appealing environment.

Optimizing Space Utilization 

Efficiently utilizing the available space in the reception area is essential to ensure a functional and organized environment. Here are some tips to optimize space utilization:
Layout: Consider the flow of traffic and create a layout that allows for easy navigation. A well-designed layout will minimize congestion and ensure a smooth and seamless visitor experience. Place the reception desk in a central location, providing clear sightlines to the entrance and other areas of the office.


Choose furniture that is proportional to the available space and functional for both visitors and staff. Modular seating can provide flexibility and accommodate different group sizes. Incorporating storage solutions, such as cabinets or shelving units, can help keep the reception area clutter-free and organized.

Multifunctional Spaces

If space allows, consider incorporating multifunctional areas within the reception area. This can include a small meeting space, a self-service refreshment station, or a quiet corner for visitors to work while waiting. These additional features can enhance the overall functionality of the reception area.

Incorporating Comfortable Seating  Comfortable seating is essential in the reception area, as visitors may have to wait for extended periods. Here are some tips to ensure comfortable seating:
Ergonomics: Choose seating options that prioritize ergonomics and support. Chairs with adjustable heights, lumbar support, and cushioning can help reduce discomfort and promote good posture. Consider using a variety of seating options, such as sofas, armchairs, and bar stools, to accommodate different preferences and needs.

  • Durability: Select durable and easy-to-clean materials, such as leather or high-quality fabric, for seating upholstery. Ensure that the seating is designed to withstand regular use and remain in good condition for an extended period.
  • Arrangement: Arrange seating in a way that encourages conversation and interaction while maintaining privacy. Consider incorporating small side tables or integrated power outlets for visitors to work or charge their devices.
  • Incorporating Brand Identity Incorporating your company’s brand identity in the reception area helps create a cohesive and memorable experience for visitors. Here are some tips for incorporating brand identity:
  • Logo and Signage: Display your company’s logo prominently at the reception area to reinforce brand recognition. Additionally, use signage to guide visitors and provide information about your company’s values, vision, or services.
  • Colors and Materials: Use colors and materials that align with your company’s brand guidelines. Incorporate these elements in furniture, wall paint, flooring, and decor to create a consistent and cohesive look.
  • Artwork and Graphics: Consider incorporating artwork or graphics that reflect your company’s values or industry. This can create a visually stimulating environment and provide a conversation starter for visitors.

Utilizing Technology Effectively In today’s digital age, incorporating technology effectively in the reception area can enhance efficiency and improve the overall visitor experience. Here are some tips for utilizing technology:
Digital Signage: Replace traditional signage with digital displays to provide real-time information, such as company news, upcoming events, or meeting schedules. This can create a dynamic and engaging environment for visitors.

Self-Service Kiosks: Implement self-service kiosks for visitor check-ins, registration, or issuing visitor badges. This can streamline the check-in process and save time for both visitors and staff.

Interactive Displays: Incorporate interactive displays that allow visitors to explore your company’s products, services, or achievements. This hands-on approach can create an engaging and immersive experience for visitors.

Wireless Charging Stations: Provide wireless charging stations for visitors to charge their devices conveniently. This can be a valuable amenity, especially for guests who may have limited battery life on their smartphones or laptops.

Conclusion Designing an office reception area requires careful consideration of various factors, including creating a welcoming ambiance, optimizing space utilization, incorporating comfortable seating, incorporating brand identity, and utilizing technology effectively. By following these top five tips, you can create a reception area that not only leaves a positive first impression but also enhances the overall experience for visitors and employees. Remember, the reception area serves as the face of your company, and investing in its design can have a significant impact on your business’s reputation and success.

In 2018, Charlie Greene Studio partnered with Narrative Science, an innovation-based company whose proprietary software takes data and gives it a human voice, to design the company’s new 38,500 square foot workplace. Narrative Science’s significant expansion plan necessitated that they leave the ad hoc space they’d inhabited since their start-up days, and think more strategically and aspirationally about a space that would support the company they’ll become over the next five years.

The process began with a robust observation and strategy period, completed by Work Place Analytics. The outcome was a document mapping internal processes and identifying new efficiencies.

Charlie Greene Studio began work with Narrative Science after the initial data-gathering was completed, on the recommendation of a long-term CGS client. The design team dove into the strategic efficiencies document and led other, more qualitative, conversations with leadership to define the roadmap for the project, synthesizing the quantitative and qualitative, the efficiencies and efficacies, the prose and poetry… in short, the three-dimensional story of Narrative Science.

Because Narrative Science’s software transforms data into language, the company exists at the overlap of technology and humanity. For this reason, areas where activities overlap are celebrated in the workplace. Boundaries are blurred, functions are layered. The Chicago Bauhaus style was used as the aesthetic driver to give a local inspiration, but also to speak to innovation and technological leadership.

The large, bright Café benefits from 15-foot-tall ceilings and large windows. Furnishings are all mobile, allowing the room to be easily reconfigured for all-staff meetings, team lunches, and evening events.

The Library, nearly as large as the Café, gives a quiet respite from other, more active, areas of the workplace. A long library table offers a place for employees to work independently away from their desks and “be alone together.”

The Patent Wall, directly adjacent to the reception area and visible from the elevator lobby, provides a dramatic yet subtle space to acknowledge the innovative work of Narrative Science employees and teams, in a system that allows for new patents to be added over time.

196 workstations (all height-adjustable) and 12 offices give Narrative Science the space to grow in order to meet their goals. The flexibility inherent in the plan means that departments can shift and change as needed. 12 enclosed meeting rooms and 18 collaborative areas support work processes in ways recommended by the Work Place Analytics report, encouraging and supporting collaboration but separating it enough from individual work areas to not interfere with the highly complex focused work that employees are engaged in.

All of this comes together in an overall experience that has changed the way Narrative Science works, while giving customers and other visitors insights into what the company does and what it believes in. Stuart Frankel, Narrative Science’s CEO, says, “Our new office is a metaphor for the future: it’s big, open, and flexible, but there’s also a permanency factor to it.”

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