First impressions matter, whether they're accurate or not. For clients and customers to get a good feeling from the minute they walk through the door, the welcome area needs to reflect your professional attitude. The right lobby furniture is a big part of that first impression, so make it count.
The business itself often dictates the type and style of furnishings, both in the lobby and throughout the office. For example, a creative business may get high marks for unconventional design, where a physician's office with the same décor might make patients uneasy.
There's a lot to consider when furnishing your lobby. Live Science explains that negative first impressions stick with us and are hard to overcome. So here are a few of the most important factors in putting your best foot forward:
Do You Have the Basics?
Most lobbies have a few items that are almost a given. But if you're just starting out or want a complete lobby overhaul, you'll need to think about which fundamental items you can't live without. You might offer a coat rack and umbrella stand, especially if the location is prone to inclement weather. In larger businesses, however, visitors might not want to leave their personal items unattended.
A heavy-duty, weatherproof mat outside the front door helps keep your floors clean. Another just inside the door doubles the effectiveness, which also helps reduce wear and tear on interior flooring. The reception area should be easy to access, welcoming, and help solidify your business in their minds. Logos and other proprietary additions help with that. Many Cubiture office furnishings are customizable in your colors and with your logo.
How Much Time do Clients Spend in the Lobby?
Are your clients or customers ushered in past the lobby fairly quickly? Or do you normally have a group waiting for appointments? The amount of time spent in the lobby space can help you determine which basic furnishings you need and which accessories might add to the experience.
If you rarely have more than one or two visitors waiting, the seating issue isn't critical. You could tilt your budget toward eye-catching artwork and rich design elements instead of spending the bulk of it on making guests comfortable.
Do You Need Lots of Seating?
Where people often wait, boredom can set in and people grow restless. Seating is important in this type of lobby. Comfortable chairs or small sofas with arm rests allow clients to wait without becoming irritable from discomfort. Cubiture has many new styles for you to choose from. It might also surprise you to learn how beautiful used office furniture can be.
Some busy offices need lots of office eating even though single clients or customers don't spend much time there. In high turnover offices, you may need more seating. But the comfort requirement isn't quite as high as it is where there's a long wait time. If yours is a mix, think about mixing up the seating, too.
Is Your Lobby a Gathering Place?
Some lobbies are magnets for people to huddle and work on projects, hold small meetings, or just to chat, explains Healthcare Design. Hotel lobbies are a great example, and so are art and design businesses. In spaces like these, small groupings make a lot of sense. A coffee and refreshment bar might also be a smart choice.
Create a few intimate clusters with comfortable seating around a central table, instead of rows of seats, and you'll encourage people to gather. Cubiture's professional team of design specialists can help you make the most of a lobby space where people gather.
Do Visitors Need Entertainment?
Entertainment might seem counter-intuitive to business, but where people spend time waiting, they'll want something to occupy that time. Offering WiFi in the lobby can help with that, since many people carry tablets and laptops. Where computing happens, you'll also want tables or at least seats large enough to sit comfortably with a computer.
Magazines are a lobby mainstay. Even in the age where no one is without at least a smartphone, plenty of tactile reading material makes good sense. You can stack magazines on a table, much like doctor and dentist offices did for generations. But attractive racks help keep the lobby tidy and allow for easier browsing.
The lobby is the face your business shows to customers, clients and visitors. You can create a lobby with little more than a reception area and a couple of chairs. But why stop there when first impressions are so important?
Let the office furniture experts at Cubiture help you create a lobby that you, your employees and no one else can forget. Design help is complimentary, but it's priceless for the reputation of your business.
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