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What to Consider When Shopping for a Reception Desk for Your Office

Avatar of Karen Kimonye Karen Kimonye | Jun 10, 2021
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Are you in the market for a new reception desk? This is a niche topic with not a lot of resources to research what the best options are. Fortunately we’ve gathered some useful info for you to consider before you invest in this important addition to your office. Read on to find out what you should know before you buy a reception desk in 2021.

The reception area in an office affects the first impression of your visitors and clients. Thus, the reception desk needs to be attractive and functional. Aside from designing your reception area with practicality in mind, you also need to maximize the space for comfort and mobility.

What Is a Reception Desk?

Reception desk

A reception desk is where the receptionist sits. A reception desk should be aesthetically pleasing and highly functional for clients, visitors, and staff. Typically, reception desks have a solid front and two sides and they comprise:

  • Reception countertop. This allows clients and receptionists to sign documents and conduct business transactions.
  • Sitting desk. This gives the receptionist privacy to do their job in between greeting visitors and clients. This desk sits behind the reception counter and it’s 12 inches high.

Choosing an Ideal Reception Desk

When someone walks through the lobby of any business entity, the first thing they see is the reception desk. Thus, a reception desk must fit the feel of your business, while still looking inviting and professional. Another deciding factor when selecting reception furniture is the space available. Also, you need to consider the following design elements when choosing a reception desk:

1.   The Aesthetics of Your Reception Desk

Aesthetic reception desk

The reception desk is the face of your office. It’s what customers and visitors will judge your business by the first time they see it. Thus, your reception desk must inspire trust, and success with new clients, new employees, and investors.

  • Select the right size. A simple rule is to select a front desk size that’s proportional to your reception area. So, if you have a large space, you should get a big desk and vice versa. Alternatively, if you have a large space with high ceilings and a lot of walking space, get an appropriately sized reception desk. Everything is about creating balance. Your reception desk should allow enough room for seating and flow of foot traffic between the entrance and the other rooms. Also, the size of your reception desk will largely depend on how many receptionists you plan to hire.
  • Choose the right shape and placement. The location you choose to place your reception desk will influence the shape you pick. For instance, reception desks at the center of the lobby are normally round, while those near a wall are rectangular or curved. This creates balance and allows your receptionist to always face the direction of your customers and visitors, as they walk in.
  • Pick a beautiful design. The face of your workplace should be warm and welcoming. Thus, your reception desk must convey your business’s values courteously and professionally. Whether it’s commitment, diversity, or transparency, both your front desk and your receptionist must create an experience with your customers that’ll resonate with them. Consider how your reception desk will fit in with the décor of the space around and the nature of your company. For instance, traditional furnishings aren’t ideal for a tech start-up company. Instead of traditional styles, pick modern and updated designs for your reception area.

2.   The Ergonomics of Your Reception Desk

Ergonomic reception desk

The second aspect to consider when shopping for a reception desk is making sure it’s comfortable and productive.

No matter how attractive it looks to your clients and visitors, it’s still a functional piece of furniture that must allow your receptionist to perform daily tasks while being able to calm impatient visitors and avoid burnout.

Choose the right height. According to the rules of ergonomics, a reception desk’s height should enable your receptionist to work comfortably with their elbows, making a 90-degree angle with the desk.

What’s the Best Shape for a Reception Desk?

Curve reception desk

Apart from the shape of your office, you must consider your office requirements when choosing a shape for your reception desk. Common shapes for reception desks include:

  • Square reception desks. A square reception desk is perfect for small offices with just one receptionist. These front desks offer a simple look, and they’re ideal for offices without a distinct style.
  • Curved reception desks. A curved reception desk saves space in small to medium-sized areas, and it should be in a corner or parallel to a wall.
  • Round reception desks. These types of front desk offer mobility and ample desk and counter space from all angles. They fit perfectly in medium to large workspaces. Often, they have an almost complete circle shape with a cutout at the back to enter or exit.

Corner L-shape desks

  • L-shaped desks. An L-shaped front desk connects two work areas behind the reception counter. This type of desk allows the receptionist to move easily from one worksurface to another.
  • U-shaped reception desk. A u-shaped reception desk offers ample space and is perfect for large reception areas. It allows multiple receptionists to work at once, and it provides a reception counter in the front with a desk behind. Also, a U-shaped desk offers two additional work desks with or without counters above.

What Features Should a Good Reception Desk Have?

Feature reception desk

As with regular desks, reception desks offer many features and storage solutions to fit your needs. These features include:

Behind Desk:

  •  Cubbies, built-in drawers, and storage cabinets.
  •  Pre-drilled holes for wires and cords.
  •  Power outlets at desk level for office equipment, such as computers and printers.
  •  Ample desktop workspace.
  •  Pull-out keyboard drawers and monitor platform.

Desk Front:

  •  Wide countertop overhang in the front.
  •  Flat-front for customer greeting plaque or business signage.
  •  Glass accents or decorative metal.
  •  Under-counter lighting.
  •  Modular coffee bar unit for front desk suites.
  •  Customer-facing receding toe-kick to prevent dents and scuff from shoes and kicking.

Final Thoughts

Although functionality and comfort are essential factors to consider when buying office furniture, it’s also crucial to consider other factors when buying reception furniture. First, consider the quality of the materials used to build the furniture. And make sure you buy your reception desk from reputable furniture suppliers. Finally, make sure the reception desk is sturdy and will last for a long time.

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WRITTEN BYKaren Kimonye

I'm a freelance writer who specializes in creating blog posts, and articles that build trust and compel readers to take the desired action.

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