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LOOKBOOK MODERN OFFICE RECEPTION FURNITURE

Rising from humble beginnings, today’s modern office receptions are larger, grander and entrusted with the most important of roles: to create the perfect first impression.

Written by Jessie Chang

Modern Office Reception 9 to 5 Seating Lilly Chairs
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(1) 9 to 5 Seating Lilly Office Reception Chairs (2) OFS Element Office Reception Desk (3) ERG International Cody Occasional Table  REQUEST MORE INFO

THE IMPORTANCE OF OFFICE RECEPTIONS

When one thinks of the words “office reception” it usually conjures up the archetypal image of a single receptionist desk at the end of a designated welcoming area, with a few office reception chairs spread out and magazines stacked on a low center coffee table. While this rudimentary setup may seem sufficient for many people, it’s incredibly basic and cut and dry by today’s standards. It’s boring.

And your office first impression should never be boring.

Settings matter. Commercial office interior designers are continuously trying to figure out how to maximize the impact companies have on their customers and guests, and to capture their attention. And one sure-fire way is to focus on one very important area: the office reception.

(4) Arcadia Scenery Modular Seating (5) Arcadia Domo Office Reception Pull Up Table  REQUEST MORE INFO

GUESTS ON THE GO

Pull up worksurfaces go a long way for waiting clients & guests.

WELCOMING YOUR GUESTS

Think about it.  What’s the first thing you see when you step inside the doors of a building? Does the space feel safe and welcoming? Are you greeted properly?  Where do you sit down to wait? And how does this seemingly inconsequential experience — which happens within a mere few minutes, if not seconds — affect how you perceive the company? Office reception areas may seem unimportant at first glance, but these days especially, they’re far from.  There’s not only an enormous amount of thought and design invested into them, but a considerable amount of money as well.

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(6) Groupe Lacasee Morpheo Reception Desk (7) Groupe Lacasee Morpheo Reception Desk (8) Cherryman Jade Modern Office Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

KEEP 'EM CONNECTED

It’s all about power & connectivity when waiting in the office lobby.

(9) OFS Boost Ottomans and Seating (10) OFS Elide Office Reception Chair  REQUEST MORE INFO

FIRST IMPRESSIONS LAST

The core principle behind the office reception or any welcoming area has always been first impressions. First impressions are crucial and can make or break companies. They’re vital for business success. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, and if you fail at it, clients — more often than not — won’t be inclined to give you the opportunity to turn it around. These days, competition is fierce. There are myriads of options and alternatives readily available, and clients will simply leave and go someplace else. That’s why there’s a great deal that goes into the overall design of the waiting or lobby area, as well as every office reception furniture that goes in it. So much so that by the 1990’s, millions were being spent for these spaces to be more grand, elevated and impressive. They were strategically placed in high-impact areas of buildings, to wow, welcome, inform and entertain guests all at the same time. Stunning company logos hung on walls behind extravagant reception desks to establish prominence and power. And while primitive, plastic chairs were being replaced by posh and plush office reception furniture sets, gleaming marble floors were added, and tight security stood by the door. Fast forward to present-day and office reception interior design has only evolved much more, to uphold the very important principle: first impressions lasts.

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(11) The Senator Group Mote Lounge Seating (12) OFS Skara Lounge Chairs (13) OFS Boost Seating and Ottomans  REQUEST MORE INFO

(14) OFS Element Office Reception Desk (15) OFS Kintra Occasional Tables  REQUEST MORE INFO

A WARM WELCOME

Provide a warm & friendly welcome with rich textures of wood.

THE HISTORY OF OFFICE RECEPTIONS

The history of the office reception is not a particularly old one but is filled with a lot of forethought. Reception offices originally didn’t garner much attention nor were prioritized until the rise of skyscrapers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As many companies expanded and moved into towering steel-framed monoliths, commercial interior design expanded as well to evolved with them. Certain positions like typists, receptionists and administrative personnel became more relevant and brought emphasis and attention as to where and how they should be accomodated.

As technology surged forward, especially during the tail end of the 20th century, it too revolutionized the workplace and pioneered an extensive range of new office furniture solutions, configurations and layouts. Designers and architects continued to give greater attention to the office reception area, recognizing the significance of the visitor experience. Seating areas for guests and client lounges became increasingly important and were purposely designed to be not only beautifully impressive, but welcoming and comfortable as well. Up until the 1980’s, the open-plan office design was very popular and brought a collaborative and social work environment to the workplace. To mirror that, office reception areas consisted of large, open spaces with a reception desk that welcomed visitors and practical, plastic chairs lined in rows to seat them. Now, several decades later, the office reception has blossomed into a more intuitive, welcoming environment, much more attuned to its role and importance in garnering business success.

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(16) AIS LB Lounge Modern Office Reception Seating (17) Groupe Lacasse Morpheo Reception Desk (18) Groupe Lacasse Morpheo Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

(19) Global River Lounge Office Reception Seating  REQUEST MORE INFO

A FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

Gather people together in an open, collaborative space that’s all-inclusive & accommodates today’s modern & fast-paced lifestyle.

With a multitude of design options to choose from, River Lounge Seating’s modular & interlocking capabilities allow you to configure & reconfigure your office reception to accommodate a variety of applications.

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(20) AIS LB Lounge and Volker Cubes Seating (21) OFS Rein Chairs (22) National WaveWorks Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

THE ROLE OF THE OFFICE RECEPTION

While being able to provide a great first impression is top priority — it isn’t the only one. Today, reception areas have very distinct goals and are intended to execute a three-pronged strategy designed to market and support a company brand. They aim to welcome guests while providing insight on the company culture and what their business is all about. They’re also the perfect place for companies to disperse information via catalogs, brochures, wall infographics, posters, leaflets, and even large LED infotainment displays. In addition, office receptions must always bear these key questions in mind:

  • Is there enough comfortable seating for clients and guests?
  • Are there charging stations available for visitors’ phones and laptops? In today’s workplace, it’s not uncommon to see professionals working on the go. Charging areas are crucial.
  • Is the primary reception desk or reception area large enough to accommodate all the office equipment, storage, and workspace the reception staff needs?

Recently, we’ve had to adjust to the aftermath of COVID-19 and a new normalcy that now affects our day-to-day work.  This world pandemic underlined our need to be mindful of everyone’s health in professional arenas and adapt office floor plans accordingly.  Today, office reception areas must ensure that seats have the appropriate amount of space apart from each other to help keep a socially distanced yet comfortable environment

(23) OFS Mile Marker Reception Desk (24) OFS Element Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

OPEN COMMUNICATION

Design your office reception with an open flow of communication in mind.

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(25) Maverick Desk Gravity Reception Desk (26) Maverick Desk Series Reception Desk (27) Maverick Desk Canyon Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

(28) Via Seating Office Chairs (29) Via Seating Ergonomic and Lounge Office Seating  REQUEST MORE INFO

CLEAN & COMFORTABLE

Choose ergonomic seating that are comfortable & easy to clean.

THE RECEPTION DESK

The key to having an impressive and effective office reception area is having the perfect center piece — which, to many, is the reception desk itself. The reception desk is oftentimes the first thing visitors see when they walk in, and largely contributes to the guests’ first impression. So it’s important when designing your office space to curate a reception desk that not only looks great, but appropriately reflects your company’s brand and aesthetic. Office reception desks can range from traditional and elegant, to sleek and modern, to warm and rustic. No matter what the look, remember: the reception desk should be the anchor that elevates the space while embodying your company’s brand.

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(30) OFS Element Reception Desk (31) AIS Custom Milwork Modern Office Reception Station (32) ERG International Ozark Office Reception Lounge  REQUEST MORE INFO

PRIVACY MATTERS

Personal booths provide guests needed privacy in crowded office receptions.

(33) Global Priva Acoustic Pod (34) OFS Element Office Reception Setup  REQUEST MORE INFO

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(35) HON Concinnity Reception Desk (36) Groupe Lacasse Think Smart Office Reception Desk (37) DeskMakers Overture Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

CLUTTER-FREE STORAGE

Be sure to have plenty of storage to keep things neat, organized & out of sight.

(38) AIS Calibrate Reception Desk (39) AIS Calibrate Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

OFFICE RECEPTION TREND: SUSTAINABILITY

It’s also important to pay attention to the details that can successfully execute current trends in your reception area design. Sustainability, for one, is a trend that we’re seeing quite often in the 21st century — and it isn’t going away any time soon. As the name suggests, sustainability is dedicated to making spaces go green with responsibly sourced and recycled materials, alongside high-efficiency technology, beneficial greenery, and environmentally safe practices. OFS’s Living Wall Planter is a perfect example, featuring an eco-friendly and biophilic design that provide health benefits to the office (such as reducing CO2 and padding noise) while simultaneously sprucing up an otherwise dull waiting room by adding a lively, organic touch to the space.

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(40) OFS Kintra Table (41) OFS Living Wall Planter (42) Nevins Jumbo Recycling and Waste Bins for the Office Reception  REQUEST MORE INFO

(43) Nevins Thro Recycling and Waste Bins for the Office Reception (44) OFS Living Wall Planter  REQUEST MORE INFO

BE EARTH FRIENDLY

Create an office reception that’s mindful of our planet.

OFFICE RECEPTION TREND: NATURAL LIGHT

Natural light is also making a comeback. In recent years, designer have pushed for office layouts and designs that incorporate natural elements from the outdoors into the workplace. Studies have found that natural light can help improve employees’ productivity, mood and overall health.  Brighten up the office reception by ditching those heavy window treatments and opening up windows instead, allowing natural sunlight to shine through. If your office floorplan limits your space from having access to windows, try using smart lighting solutions that can mimic the feel of daylight to your space.

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(45) Groupe Lacasse Morpheo Reception Desk (46) DeskMakers Overture Office Reception Desk (47) OFS Pulse Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

(48) Nevins Tisso Office Reception Planters (49) Humanscale Vessel Pendant Lights  REQUEST MORE INFO

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Design with lighting that looks good & function well.

OFFICE RECEPTION TREND: RESIMERCIAL

Resimercial is another trend that not only applies to the reception, but the entire office as a whole. As new generations enter the workforce, new work styles are being adopted as well. Blurring the lines between commercial and residential, Resimercial softens the rigidness of a formal reception area, and warms the space with furniture that evokes the comforts of home. Guests feel more welcomed and more at ease with a comfortable sense of being at home while seated in the waiting room. Office furniture manufacturing giants such as Arcadia Contract, Allermuir and National Office Furniture offer creative lines of resimercial-inspired office furniture that are ideal for this popular trend.

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(50) Arcadia Archetype Modular Lounge (51) Arcadia Savina Modular Lounge (52) OCI Masso Reception Lounge Seating  REQUEST MORE INFO

(53) Arcadia Uptown Social Occasional Tables (54) DeskMakers Overture Reception Desk (54) Encore Dabble Modular Reception Seating (56) 9 to 5 Seating Lilly Chairs (57) Encore Hado Office Reception Guest Chairs (58) Groups Lacasse 400E Reception Desk (59) Encore Dabble Modular Reception Seating (60) Koncept Lighting Z-Bar Floor Lamp (61) Encore Twirl Lounge Seating  REQUEST MORE INFO

THE FUTURE OF OFFICE RECEPTIONS

Of course, while the trends above are all excellent office reception area ideas, they can also be incorporated to other parts of the workplace as well — just as many other popular, growing trends. It’s interesting to remember that at its onset, the office reception wasn’t considered to be such an important component of the workplace.  In its humble beginning, it merely comprised of a modest office reception desk and few basic office reception chairs. But now, as times changed and we progressed as a society, so did the importance and purpose of the office waiting room. First impressions and the visitor experience are now highly prioritized, and with that, the need for office reception furniture ideas to be beautiful and creative. But what is considered attractive? Beauty in essence has a fluid definition and remains to be in the eye of the beholder. What’s certain and absolute is that the reception areas of today will no doubt continue to evolve, just as we do. Soon, we can probably expect artificial intelligence to greet us the next time we enter a commercial building, and have robot receptionists cater to our needs as we wait in the lobby. Who knows? Reception desks, which are considered as the heart of the waiting room, may very well become obsolete in the not-so-distant future. But for now, we can only imagine all the exciting, new things yet to come.

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(62) Arcadia Kindred Lounge Seating (63) National Tellaro Seating (64) DeskMakers Overture Reception Desk  REQUEST MORE INFO

SMART SEPARATION

Keep it sanitary with sensible sneeze guards & screens.

(65) Global Office Reception Wellness Screens (66) Global Office Reception Wellness Screens  REQUEST MORE INFO

MODERN OFFICE RECEPTION DESIGN IDEAS & FURNITURE RESOURCES

A Special Thanks to our Commercial Office Furniture Partners: 9 to 5 Seating, AIS, Arcadia Contract, Cherryman Industries, DeskMakers, Encore Seating, ERG International, Global Furniture Group, Groupe Lacasse, HON, Humanscale, Koncept, Maverick Desk, National,Nevins, OCI, OFS Brands, The Senator Group and Via Seating

By Jessie Chang | Featured Writer

Jessie Chang has been a writer for 2010 Office Furniture since 2020. After graduating from California State University, Long Beach, she plans on entering the publishing industry as an editor and exploring other interests.