Reception areas are an integral part of your business. It’s the area where your customers will spend most of their time. Some of them can be brighter, calmer, and more welcoming than most people think. Focusing on this aspect of your business is good for your branding. It’s also good for improving the customer experience.
You don’t have to hire an architect and interior designer to redesign the reception area yourself. You can make a few tweaks that will bring out the beauty of this space. All you have to do is focus on improving the customer experience. Here are seven ideas for creating a bold and beautiful office.
1. Don’t Call it a Reception Area
From the moment that you stop calling it one, everything will change. This type of language has an impact on how you perceive this space. How do you want to recreate this area? How do you want your customers to see it?
Call it a waiting area. You may even like the phrase guest lounge. Whichever phrase you choose, stick to it and make it your part of your office mantra. You may realize this phrase will change the way that you work in this area. It’ll change your work life in positive and subtle ways.
2. Go Green
There are plenty of health benefits with going green. One study showed that surgical patients with plants in their rooms experienced less anxiety, fatigue, pain, and stress than patients without plants. It also helped them lower their systolic blood pressure. They were happier and more satisfied with their rooms and with the hospital staff.
Caring for plants may seem like a lot of work, but you don’t have to be a gardener to make this happen. There are plenty of low-maintenance plants such as the Feather Reed Grass, Fescue, Peony, and Ribbon Grass. A Pothos or Snake Plant also makes the perfect plan. These plants are extremely hard to kill and can thrive in low-light environments.
3. Be Mindful With Lighting
Light can affect the way you think and feel. When used properly, it can make your customers feel more relaxed. If your office has windows, use curtains that control how much light you allow in without causing glare. If you need to rely on artificial light, then stay away from fluorescent lights and yellow lights.
There are high-tech products that imitate sunlight, but they tend to be hard to use. Opt for full-spectrum or warm-white light bulbs instead. Using the right amount of light for your office takes a lot of experimentation. But it will be worth the investment and effort in the end.
4. Go Easy With the Music
You won’t find televisions blasting in most offices these days. That’s because most people are bringing their own entertainment on their smartphones and tablets. This can become an unwelcome distraction for those who want to read, work, or just veg out. If you decide to have a television in your office, then play it on mute with closed captions.
You could also play relaxing music. Classic, indie music, or jazz work with most offices. If your office uses a streaming service such as Pandora or Spotify, you’ll find hundreds of playlists that promote mindfulness, stress-relief and relaxation. Just make sure that the service you’re using is ad-free. Your customers don’t want to hear an ad after every other song.
5. Unlock Your Wi-Fi
Customers will compare your businesses to others. If you’re not offering free Wi-Fi, it’s time to do so. Every business out there is already on it, and most people are used to having this access. When your customers are able to surf the web or stream on their smartphone, the inconvenience of having to wait will be automatically decreased.
6. Get Rid of the Magazines
Nothing screams the 90s like a big pile of magazines. Keeping your magazines clean and tidy will be a challenge in itself. Most people regard magazines as useless and will handle them that way. Oftentimes, other people won’t bother touching your stack of magazines.
Invest in some coffee table books instead. Choose books about animals, landscapes, portraits, or your particular industry. Beautiful books with large photos make it possible for parents to read to their children. And your customers will treat these books like prized possessions. When something unexpected happens, an engrossed customer is a happier customer.
7. Test Out the Furniture
The right office furniture and seating are crucial to your office space. If you haven’t tried out the furniture, then you should. Find out if it’s comfortable enough to use. Would you want to sit in this office furniture for a half hour or so?
You should also determine the seating needs of your customers. Certain age demographics require certain needs. Seniors want chairs with arms to brace themselves when getting up or sitting down. Meanwhile, children need to sit in furniture that accommodates their size.
The layout is just as important. If your office space accommodates families and large groups then invest in clustered chairs. Another way to experiment is to arrange your seats in rows.
A warm and inviting office area can change the way other people perceive your business. It puts your patients’ minds at ease and improves your branding. Creating a bold and beautiful office space requires more than just rearranging the furniture. You have to see it from your customers’ perspective. With a few small tweaks, you can focus on their needs and create a warm, welcoming and well-lit environment.