Simple Steps to Modern Office Waiting Area Design


As the focal point of your building – and the first thing customers see when they step through the door – your reception area says a lot about your business and what visitors can expect from their experience with your brand. More than just creating a visually appealing space, modern office design in your reception area means offering an environment that’s warm, welcoming, functional, and comfortable, in order to show your company in its best light.

Let’s face it, waiting in a reception area is never going to be someone’s idea of a good time, but you can improve the experience by offering a pleasant place to sit. Today, we’re going to be exploring some ideas for how you can create a modern and stylish space that guests are almost happy to wait in.

Small Office Waiting Area Ideas

The reception area is your first and greatest opportunity to make visitors feel at ease when visiting your office. Many people can be feeling a lot of stress during their visit – particularly if you’re in the medical, financial, or legal industry – so it’s important to provide a space that helps them feel safe. 

If you are working with a small office layout, the style of your reception area can help create a sense of safety, wellbeing, and professionalism, leaving people confident that they’re in safe hands. Here are some ideas for how you can make the premises more comfortable while they wait.

Optimising Your Waiting Room Design

Planning Your Reception and Waiting Area Design

When you’re setting up a new reception area – or upgrading an existing one – the first and most important step is to plan out your design.

Start by thinking of how you want visitors and your team to use the space. You can even create a floor plan and plot out the flow of foot traffic to help determine the best layout for the room. At this time, you may also wish to speak to employees to see if they have any interesting ideas or suggestions for what they would like to see in the space. You may also opt to consult visitors to gain insights into what they think of the current reception area.

Getting a sense of what your staff and customers think can help you identify opportunities to improve the layout. It may even offer ideas for enhancing the space to support greater staff productivity and better customer comfort. 

Here are some factors to consider when planning out your office reception area:


How many guests does the room need to cater to at once? How many reception staff members will be present throughout the day? This can help direct your layout, design, and seating plan to maximise space.


How do you want team members and visitors to move through the room? Once you’re clear on the direction of foot traffic, you can start arranging furniture, plants, decorations and other objects accordingly.


All the little details, from your chosen colour scheme to the decorations on the wall can shape a guest’s impression of your business. Be sure to consider the mood and tone you want to set so you can style your reception area in line with these goals.


Your choice of lighting can also influence mood and perception. Soft, bright lighting, for instance, can help create a calming atmosphere, while low, warm lighting can feel a little homier. Harsh daylight bulbs, on the other hand, can feel cold, sterile, and uninviting.


Smell is a big factor in setting the mood at the office. Pleasant scents such as lavender, for example, can be soothing, while citrus oils are often associated with positive mental health.


A loud or echoing room can be uncomfortable for staff and clients alike. Try to minimise noise and reverberation by installing fabric furniture to improve the acoustics in the room. Acoustic wall panels and ceiling tiles also offer fantastic sound-dampening properties without taking up valuable floor space.


Consider how you want your business to be viewed by the world, and find a way to reflect that in the style of your office. A minimalist design, for example, can make the space seem clean and modern, while spaces that utilise more natural elements such as wood and earthy tones can give the impression of a more ‘homey’ office.


Consistency is key to brand identity, and this goes for your office design as well. Your style should reflect in all elements of your office, from the reception area to meeting and consultation rooms. 


A key aspect of creating a positive reception area isn’t in the design at all. Be sure to foster a company culture that values the experience of clients. Encourage staff to greet people warmly at the door to make them feel welcome as they come to attend their appointment. 

Optimising Your Waiting Room Design

Optimising Your Waiting Room Design

Modern Design: Simple Yet Stylish

Modern Design: Simple Yet Stylish

Office Waiting Area Furniture

The furniture you place throughout the office reception area can have a big impact on staff and visitors. Companies need to provide furniture that’s comfortable, stylish, and professional looking. 

It’s best to offer a range of options, including chairs, a comfy couch, and even spaces where a person can stand if that’s their preference. Your furniture is as much a part of the decor as the art and photos on the wall, so be sure to search for things that match the style of your modern office. 

Don’t forget to also provide comfortable chairs for staff who are working at the reception desk. We recommend a rolling chair with an adjustable height, arms, and backrest so staff can tailor the seat to their specific body type for comfortable sitting throughout their shift. An ergonomic chair will also help take the pressure off the body, minimising the risk of injury, strain, or discomfort at work. 

Provide Varied and Comfortable Seating

Provide Varied and Comfortable Seating

The Right Reception Desk

The reception desk is the heart of your reception area, and typically a person’s first point of contact with companies, so choosing the right piece is the key to making a good first impression. Your choice of reception desk will depend on a range of factors, including your budget, the space available to you, and the style of your office, so don’t be afraid to take your time when making your decision. 

A wooden reception desk, for example, can provide a pop of natural colour while adding a touch of sophistication and luxury to the space. Alternatively, a simple, laminated reception desk makes a cost-effective and attractive addition to a modern minimalist design. 

If you run a small dental practice, modern dental office design guidelines would suggest you to buy a small reception desk to leave more space for the waiting room

Don’t forget to first measure the room so you have clear dimensions in mind when choosing your reception desk. Purchasing a desk that’s too big can make the rest of the area feel cramped and uncomfortable.

The reception desk must also be functional, practical, and comfortable for staff to work at. A desk with storage drawers can help staff keep the desktop neat and organised, while a raised wall can offer a lot of extra comfort and privacy for your staff while keeping papers, stationary, folders, and computers out of sight. Some desks feature walls which only extend halfway across, allowing staff to enjoy a little privacy, while still maintaining the ability to move over and engage in a more natural conversation with clients.

The Reception Desk: Where Functionality Meets Style

The Reception Desk: Where Functionality Meets Style

Cool Waiting Room Ideas to Inspire You

If your company is moving to a new premises, now’s the perfect opportunity to start rethinking your design and restyling your office waiting room. Here are some cool modern design ideas to inspire you: 

Integrate plants into the design. You can use them as attractive modern space definers, or even build a living accent wall to brighten up the area.

Create a modern office ‘oasis’ by incorporating nature into your design. Wooden elements, water features, nature-inspired art and photography, and earthy tones such as green and brown all make fabulous additions to a modern office space.

Get creative with your branding by using branded imagery, your company name, your logo, or even company taglines as decorative features.

Stay flexible by incorporating customisable elements such as mobile partitions and rolling chairs into the space so you can switch up your layout according to your current needs and space requirements.

Offer clients entertainment to help pass the time. Play equipment, toys, books, magazines, a television, and even gaming stations are all great distractions for adults and children.

If you have a pleasant outdoor area such as a garden, consider turning it into an extension of your waiting room by adding comfortable seating so people can enjoy some fresh air while they wait. 

If you’re working out of an older building, take advantage of existing elements such as a fireplace, antique light fittings, chandeliers, and other ornate architectural features. Using these as the centrepiece of the room can add a touch of luxury and visual interest.

Where Style Meets Functionality

Where Style Meets Functionality

Top Tips for Designing the Best Modern Office Waiting Area

From improving client mood to capturing brand identity, there are many advantages to optimising your waiting area design for comfort, functionality, and productivity. Here are some ideas for companies looking to create a modern space today:

Sketch out a floor plan outlining how people will move around and use the area, and then arrange your furniture and decorations to facilitate this. 

Be consistent and ensure that your chosen design flows through every aspect of the building. 

Reception desks are one of the most striking features in a reception area. Be sure to install a reception desk that not only matches the look of the room, but is also functional and comfortable for the staff working behind it.

Offer comfortable seating options so guests can choose where they’d like to sit. Be careful with your seating arrangement to ensure people won’t feel cramped or uncomfortable.

Offer flexible, customisable, and ergonomic seating options for staff so your team can sit comfortably as they work. Remember, your staff are the face of your company, so ensuring their comfort and wellbeing is a win for everyone.

Waiting is boring, and nowhere does time pass slower than in an office reception area. Thankfully, your choice of decorations can help keep guests interested while minimising boredom. Try decorating with plants, art, and even playing with interesting colour schemes and design elements to help give people something to look at.

Lighting can help brighten up a room, lift the mood, and even make an area seem larger. Ensure your waiting room is well lit and avoid harsh lighting such as daylight bulbs which can feel uninviting. For the best effect, we recommend using large windows and mirrors to maximise natural lighting. You can then supplement illumination with artificial lighting.

Maximise Your Modern Office Space