As the saying goes, first impressions are important. When it comes to greeting visitors to your business office, the reception area can set the tone for the following meetings. A well-planned reception area will set the tone you choose – warm and cozy, business-like and efficient, or the exact impression you desire.
At the center of this planning is the reception desk. Knowing how to choose the best reception desks for you and your office is an important part of taking care of both your visitors and your reception personnel. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of styles, options, and accessories that allow a customized approach to achieving your objectives with your reception desk and entire reception area.
Below are some useful tips for buying reception desk and for determining how to choose the best reception desks for you and your receptionist.
The Right Shape & Size
Your first step in knowing how to choose the best reception desks for you is selecting the right size and shape for the space that will serve as the reception area. This will determine the layout you choose, and, in turn, the amount of space allocated to seating, the reception desk, and other items. Desks are designed and manufactured in various sizes to accommodate your specific needs.
One of the initial decisions is what type of work will be done by the receptionist. That will dictate the amount of work area needed and the accessories, such as filing pedestals, that must be accommodated.
In addition to the functionality and size, you can select from standard shapes that include:
- The U-Desk. This design provides three sides of work area and maximizes traffic flow and storage area. You can provide accessories such as filing files and storage pedestals. This is often the choice for main lobbies and larger reception areas.
- The L-Desk. This desk also provides a substantial work area but is used to provide left- or right-handed traffic flow and receptionist access. Accessories can include storage areas and pedestals.
- The Transaction Desk. This is often constructed as a standalone desk or as an attachment that has a countertop to allow for display, placement of sign-in sheets, or other transaction-oriented purposes.
- Customized Desk. Modern office furniture vendors can customize a desk with features that will serve almost any purpose in any space or application.
Design and Functionality
Once you choose the basic desk form that fits your needs, you will find a large variety of options in materials, colors, fabrics, and styling to achieve that look and functionality you are seeking.
To help narrow down those many choices, you will want to consider:
- Your Budget. You can provide a quality look at a surprisingly affordable price, or you can make the investment to achieve a truly impressive look.
- Type of Environment. High-traffic areas with heavy use will require sturdier components than a reception desk used in an area that has only occasional visitors.
- Expansion Plans. If you are growing, you will want to consider versatile modular receptionist desks that can easily be expanded with components and accessories as needed.
With those considerations, you can make value-price tradeoffs for such things as:
- Choice of frames and components of steel, solid wood, or composite cores with veneers. Less-expensive veneers over sturdy but less expensive cores provide a great look but may not deliver the long-term use in high-traffic areas you require. Modern veneers may be hand-selected to match details or of other materials such as high-pressure laminate or melamine, depending on your needs for protection from stains and scratches.
- Metal-to-Metal or other types of connectors. Many receptionist desks and accessories are assembled on site. The way the components are connected also has a bearing on the long-term durability of the installation.
- Bowfronts and Modesty Panels. You will have a choice of the outward appearance of the desk, with a bowfront adding a more contemporary look. Likewise, the modesty or privacy panel may come in a variety of materials and appearances to accent the desk
- Frosted glass or acrylic panels and countertops. Tempered glass and acrylic panels add to safety and provide privacy as well as a fashionable accent.
- Finishing details. Depending on the line of furniture you select, you will have the choice of adding locks, moulding, edging, trim, and other accents.
These tips will help you start the process of selecting the ideal reception desk for your specific application. As this variety indicates, you can make the task easy by selecting one of the many standard reception desks from your supplier or personally choose each detail to provide a totally custom approach to the impression your reception area makes on your visitors.