Looking to improve your reception area? This Workstation Guide provides general information on planning your reception or lobby. This area is the first impression a client or vender has about your company’s facility and should be planned to be inviting and functional. Areas of consideration in this area include the reception desk, seating and conferencing. We recommend contacting our furniture design consultants to receive specific assistance during all phases of planning your office, workstation and common access storage needs.

Reception Desks

Many reception areas include a reception desk that usually has a full time employee that performs many administrative functions besides greeting guests and answering phones. This will include tasks that use additional equipment as computers, printers and faxes. Reception desk designs include panels or desk surround panels that are 42″ in height. This allows a degree of separation between the receptionist and visitors as well as hiding paperwork and equipment on the desk area. The receptionist should be positioned to have a direct view of the door entry.

Reception Desk Layouts Typical Reception Desk Configurations


• Be sure to plan the reception desk layout to include all equipment and storage requirements.
• Reception desks can be specified using both panel based products as well as traditional desk units with add-
on transaction surfaces and surrounds. The desk unit usually a more cost-effective alternative.
• For reception desks that will have printers and faxes, consider a “U ” shaped design.

Reception Area Seating

Planning for the seating layout in the reception area is important. Corporate offices would plan to have an inviting and is consistent with the overall office design. This would include larger scale lounge chairs or love seats with companion occasional tables. Medical or education type applications may have a higher concentration of seating required and would need smaller side or tandem style seating. For organizations that have venders that visit on a regular basis, a small conferencing area could be located in the lobby area or in a small conference room located nearby.


• If multiple visitors may be in the reception area at the same time, consider separate seating groupings.
• Locate a phone for use by your visitors in a separate area or in a nearby room.
• Your lobby’s design is the visitor’s first impression of your company. Design and accessorize this area to best reflect your company. Artwork, interior plants and information on your company is important.

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