Friendly female receptionist

Etiquette tips for your reception team!

First impressions count. It might be a cliché but what your lobby and your reception team communicate to potential clients can make all the difference. Don’t be tempted to skip over reception etiquette; facilities management has a responsibility to help any business set the tone and create the right atmosphere in their facilities.

Take a few minutes to view your reception area from the eyes of a guest. You may have a great website and plenty of clients but these office etiquette tips will ensure that your reception is clean, efficient and impressive to best represent your business.

Be clean and organised

Now more than ever, a clean and well-organised reception area will pay dividends. If you provide reading materials and magazines related to your business, make sure that your reception team keeps them tidy and properly stacked to create the most positive first impression.

Provide hand gel and keep high touch areas properly sanitised. Keep the area free of rubbish and provide recycling bins as a reminder of your eco-credentials.

Create a relaxing atmosphere

Plants, comfortable seating and music can all help to create time out from the stressful nature of busy lives. Any sounds or visuals should be displayed in a way that is thoughtful and relaxing, allowing clients to hold a conversation without having to raise their voices.

Don’t be tempted to use overly strong scent diffusers or sprays in the reception area as these can trigger allergies or just feel a little overwhelming.

On the other hand, an easily achievable etiquette tip is to provide complimentary refreshments. A bean to cup coffee machine makes an instantly positive impression, while snacks should be healthy fruit or branded promotional sweets that create a lasting impression. Always provide water and keep the refreshments area well stocked and sparkling clean. It’s an investment that will pay dividends in the long run.

Provide clear traffic flow

FM isn’t just about maintaining the physical environment. Facilities management relates to all operations relating to the organisation or business, including the flow of people within the building. Making sure that pathways are clear and that there are visual clues to indicate how a client should check-in makes new visitors more comfortable.

That means providing clear signage so that visitors are aware of restrooms and other amenities as well as the location of stairs, lifts, meeting rooms and offices. Creating a clear traffic flow not only helps the reception area to be more efficient and productive but welcomes new visitors by giving them a clear sense of direction and travel through the building.

The right welcome

Having the right person behind the desk to welcome clients and customers is probably the best etiquette tip there is. This is the first interaction that many guests will have with your business so your reception team needs to be professional, polite and welcoming. Ensure that proper training is given in all automated visitor management systems and that they can stay calm under pressure.

Does your reception area tick the right boxes?

Creating the right impression from the off should be of the utmost importance to your organisation. FM has a primary role to play in ensuring that the reception team follows office etiquette and creates the warmest welcome for every potential client.