Creating an engaging office space that fuels creativity is a must for businesses. Not only do you want to keep your employees happy and productive; but you want an initial space that is inviting, comfortable and appealing. The office reception area in any creative or digital working space is where potential clients and business partners get their first impression of your business. And first impressions always count.

How your office appears has a huge impact on how clients view your company. With constant evaluations of the space we work in, the importance of sending the right message through smart design and flow is undeniable. But where do you start planning and how do you create an environment where your staff are happy to work and your clients get the best first impression? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Focal Point Lighting

Ample amounts of light for a creative digital space is paramount, but what about using it to draw attention too?  Using natural light in the office space where possible will offer a wider colour spectrum, making it easier for staff to focus on tasks. Optimising a work area for creativity thrives better with lower amounts of artificial lighting – excessively bright lighting can make it difficult for people to work and create an uncomfortable atmosphere for clients whilst they’re waiting in the reception room.

By using focal point lighting in the initial welcoming space, you can draw customer’s attention to the best design features of your office. Replace harsh strip lighting with softer LED illumination, this mimics more closely to natural light or purchase full spectrum desk lamps. The right focal point lighting in the reception area can enhance the comfort of visitors. Think soft bright illumination for a sense of calm and appeal and low warmer lights for that ‘homey’ charm if you’re wanting to go for that family business vibe.

2. Functional Workspace

For a creative digital space to be functional, there needs to be a good office flow to the environment. As a potential client, there’s nothing worse than walking into a workspace that doesn’t feel accessible or efficient, let along if you’re working in it! Start with the peak practicals – and go with your head, not your heart. Consider what type of area you want to create for business partners and clients to ‘wait’ in and how the workspace is going to represent your company’s core values.

Flexibility is key to a functional space too. You want the space to be able to adapt to change so put a suitable platform in place that can encourage multiple purposes. A reception area that is open tends to be more inviting and comfortable, and can offer a sense of community for visitors to wait in. Keep things organised in the space and make sure you use relevant branding. Office design influences your biggest assets, property and people so keep it simple, smart and creative!

3. Rounded Furniture and Office Fitout Considerations

Office fitout is one of the best investments a business can encourage in the workplace.  It boosts higher performance, engagement and creates an activity-based setting that fuels creativity – an essential consideration for digital agencies. Office fitouts don’t have to cost you a fortune, it’s about having a well-thought out space that but be prepared to invest a decent amount of money into high-quality office reception furniture.

Rounded furniture too has been linked with positive emotions offering a core element of creative inspiration. Rounding the environment can trigger more activity in the sections of your brain which are associated with aesthetic appreciation. Incorporating this style into the reception space can offer visitors a more comfortable and appealing space and keeping the same idea through the rest of the office and in meeting rooms will keep staff happy too.

4. Colours and Music

Colours and music are notorious for enhancing creative environments. Choose the colours of the furniture, walls and accessories carefully because these can have a direct effect on the way visitors feel in the space. You’ll want to keep in mind your branding colours too. Soft blues and greens are linked to calming properties and denotes a sense of honesty, loyalty and security – making them great colours for a reception space. Blue-greens are great for decision making too. Yellow and red can be linked to feelings of anxiety so stay away from these where possible. Try to keep the colour schemes as neutral as possible and add ‘pops’ of colour through accessories and décor.

The benefits of music for cognitive performance has been undeniable for decades now. Whilst you definitely want to stay away from loud music, moderate ambient noise levels are perfect for creativity. It works by increasing abstract processing by adding an amount of ‘difficulty’ into the way the brain works. This leads to a much higher level of imagination because when we struggle just enough to process information we normally would, we tend to resort to more creative approaches – a vital aspect for digital agencies and reception areas.

5. Oxygen-Boosting Greenery

Stress levels tend to be higher in office spaces and can be negative to the vibe when visitors first walk in. Incorporating low-maintenance plants into the space can offer numerous benefits including air quality in the office, reduced stress and makes the room feel comfortable – perfect for positive first impressions. Opt for indoor plants that are robust and easy to care for and don’t overcrowd the space too much.

The best way to create the ultimate reception space in your digital creative office is to put yourself in their shoes. Sit in the area and look around – what changes need to be made? Take a survey with customers to gauge their feel for the space too and with a few smart design and lighting changes, added décor and quality furniture you can transform the office entirely.

About the Author:

Jayde Ferguson works at Interia Systems – the go-to place for quality office furniture or fitout options with over 30 years’ experience in office set ups and equipment. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.