The first impression matters and when it comes to a company or a professional studio you get the first impression at the reception area. An overall neglected or unappealing space risk affecting the image a company wishes conveying. Hence it is of utmost importance to take care of each tiny detail in this area, from finishes to furniture. The most important piece of furniture in this sense is undoubtedly the reception desk.
The characteristics of office reception desks
Besides stating the character that the company wishes to convey, the reception area should make guests feel at home and transpire tidiness, cleanness and professionalism. Therefore, the reception desk must respect some specific requirements. The typical two levels configuration, with the lower internal worktop for operators and a higher counter for guests, or service counter, comes from the need to conceal and protect the executive area. Some models also dispose of a lower desk, placed at the same level as the operators’ worktop so to allow guests to comfortably have a seat while checking or signing documents. While the external part has to feature precise aesthetic criteria like elegance, tradition or innovation, the internal area needs to be designed in a way that it is ergonomic and functional. The operators in this workstation need the same items and tools they would need in a classic office. A comfortable chair, a computer a telephone, fax, printer and trays for the stationary and other materials. A well designed reception desk can perfectly join together an eye-capturing appearance and a well arranged and functional space.
Reception desks and design: a multitude of shapes
It might appear that the intrinsic characteristics of reception desks do not leave any space for imagination. However the catalogs of office furnishing companies are brimming with models in the most diverse shapes. Far from being a boring exercise, furnishing the reception can be quite exciting for a project designer, given the wide range of options. The market opens up to fixed or modular models, compact or extended, with straight or soft sinuous lines. There are plenty of solutions, notwithstanding the typical profile with a higher counter top on the outside and a lower worktop on the inside. Linear or curved compositions can be created, in semicircle, L, U or S shaped, if space allows. Modular reception desk can be combined with curved and straight models, thus adding extra dynamism to the area. Noticeably, curved lines help conferring a stronger welcoming feeling compared to straight lines and help deaden the barrier effect that reception desks give at times.
Materials and finishes for office reception desks
Finishes play their part in the visual impact of a reception desks. Maybe even more than the shape, finishes help conveying a certain image of a company. A wood reception desk is perfect to communicate solidity and tradition, but to confer a lighter tone, combinations of different and even unusual materials are to be preferred. A company operating in the domain of innovation, for instance, will be well introduced with a design reception desk and for instance one made of Solid Surface, an almost indestructible material with a continuous surface, that is modeled to taste and in specific molds. This solution offers a vast array of colors and textures to choose from, so that the workstation is set up in accordance with the company colors. Glass reception desks are largely used in order to add lightness and brightness to an area that usually does not benefit from natural light. Inserts in tempered glass or crystal build the service counter and blend in perfectly with other materials, from wood to laminate, from metal to leather. There are also reception desks with integrated light that add even further lightness to the whole structure thanks to LED stripes that can underline the plinth, central area or top counter running along all the perimeter of this piece of furniture. For a final, personal touch it is sometimes possible to place the company brand on the front part.
What is the right reception desk?
All in all, choosing the right reception desk relies on many factors. Its size and shape depend on the available space and on the number of employees who will be using it. It is recommended to consider models supplied with specific cable management systems, so to avoid messy tangles above or below the worktop. For an ideally functional arrangement of the workstation, it is important to take into account the type of tasks the personnel will carry out. If the receptionist will only welcome guests and receive calls, a basic structure will be enough. On the other hand, if more complex actions will be carried out, including secretariat tasks, money payments, or archive the reception desk will definitely need to be completed with cabin units. In this case it is important to choose drawer units, closets and shelves that combine well with the reception desk.
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