Businessman waiting in lobby of office

By Emma Sturgis

Today, astute business leaders appreciate the importance of maintaining a welcoming, hospitable lobby. A reception area makes an initial impression on visitors. Don’t miss the opportunity to enhance your company’s reputation by overlooking this vitally important location. A gracious, well-maintained lobby advertises your business very effectively. Below are five tips to help you make your lobby more welcoming.

Provide Ample Seating Choices

One new furniture trend involves the provision of a variety of different seating options. By varying your decor to include formal chairs, casual sofas and even some bar stools, you’ll give your visitors more seating options. Members of the millennial demographic in particular may respond favorably to this policy.

Consider that not everyone can sit comfortably in some types of chairs. Back problems sometimes make straight-backed wooden chairs preferably to cushy sofas. You’ll accommodate individual preferences much better by abandoning a “one size fits all” approach and adding furniture variety to your lobby decor

Use Artwork Selectively

For generations, savvy business managers have appreciated the benefits of stylish artwork in reception areas. By taking care in arranging works of art in your lobby, you’ll lend visual interest to the premises. Lovely paintings, murals and sculptures may help place visitors at ease as they wait for appointments.

A fashionable lobby boasting selected works of art enhances your firm’s business reputation. This display need not cost a fortune, either. For example, you might consider asking local artists to place works for sale on consignment in your lobby. This strategy may permit an aspiring artist to make sales to your customers, and will definitely develop goodwill towards your company among members of the arts community. Some businesses even offer art through digital venues in their lobbies today.

Rely on Professional Cleaning Technology

Building managers frequently retain professional janitorial services to regularly clean and maintain lobby areas. If your landlord does not furnish this amenity, you might want to consider hiring one of these companies.

Periodically cleaning upholstery, carpets and other furnishings will help maintain the bright, attractive appearance of your firm’s lobby. You’ll create a warm, inviting location for welcoming visitors and prospective clients and customers by paying attention to housekeeping matters.

Consider Using a Guest Book

Placing a guest book or lobby sign-in screen in a prominent location in your lobby fosters engagement between your business and visitors. It reinforces the notion that patrons have arrived outside your place of business for a reason. You may deter loitering by using this technique, without having to retain additional security.

The use of a guest log holds a distinct business benefit, also. You’ll obtain a useful record of the names and addresses of visitors. If you need to contact someone later to follow up with a business matter, a list of lobby visitors can help prevent delays and confusion.

Invest in Food Options

Today, a wide array of different vending machines exist to bring lobby owners an extra stream of revenue. By developing food options in your lobby, for instance, your firm may partially offset the cost of maintaining this welcoming location.

Additionally, the presence of vending machines serving a variety of snacks and beverages helps some visitors overcome hunger pangs. Many companies have vending machines for sale online that make adding this addition to your lobby very feasible. People who miss a meal in order to keep an appointment at your office will appreciate your consideration in providing a source of vended meals.

Maintaining a gracious lobby enhances your business in numerous, subtle ways. You’ll create a strong impression on visitors and prospective clients by spending some time addressing this topic from a public relations perspective.

Emma Sturgis is a freelance writer based in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and small business. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2.