The essential ingredients of a modern "waiting room"
The modern "waiting room" is far from a classic waiting room. Waiting automatically tests our patience and forces us to notice all sorts of details. So if you furnish the space where your clients, business partners or potential employees are waiting with a few uncomfortable chairs and a small table with outdated newspapers, you will definitely not help create a good impression.
While waiting today, a lot of people stare at their phones, but we still manage to observe our surroundings.
The waiting area, therefore, is an ideal opportunity to present the company's visual identity. The furniture, reception desk and walls should match in corporate colours. Don't forget more prominent elements like the logo. Identity can also be involved in a variety of playful ways, such as a small exhibition of scale models of products. The goal is to avoid a monotonous space that says nothing about your company.
In terms of seating, it is always necessary to find
a compromise between the efficient use of space and maximizing the comfort of those waiting (with priority given to the second factor). Many of us will remember waiting at the doctor's office, elbow-to-elbow with other patients in uncomfortable chairs. Avoid this at all costs. Personal space is very important while waiting. Ideally, the seating in the waiting room should be a combination
of separate chairs, upholstered armchairs and one
or two couches ideal for smaller groups.
For example, if you furnish the waiting room only with sofas, you will create unpleasant situations for strangers. The presence of regular sized tables can also increase the comfort and practicality for those waiting exponentially. From the point of view of personal space, it is also necessary to take into account acoustics. Just like in offices, it pays to include various dividers and enable uninterrupted calls in the waiting room.
Offer a snack
Refreshments in the form of high-quality coffee, cold water and ideally some small snacks can make waiting a relatively pleasant affair. Pouring menthol candies into
a small bowl in the middle of the table won't really cut it.
Investing in a refreshment station can also help boost the social aspect of the waiting room and reduce the anxiety of some visitors who are too shy to ask for a glass of water or coffee at the reception. It goes without saying that the refreshment station must be absolutely clean and that all drinks and food provided are fresh.
Add a sense
A mix of magazines about mushroom picking, fishing and celebrities no longer really belongs in a modern waiting area. Instead, any publications should present your company and provide important information to those waiting. Instead of magazines, give people freedom in how they will spend their time before it's their turn.
A free Wi-Fi connection that is fast and stable should be
a matter of course.
to shorten the wait
Increasingly popular are also accessible tablets, which you can plug into the space in visually interesting stands or connect directly to the chairs. A great way to make waiting more enjoyable with modern technology is
to minimize the time spent directly in the waiting room. You can use a standalone application directly for your purposes, or one of the widely used messaging applications. Inform the visitor five minutes before someone will attend to them. This will allow them
to spend the rest of their time however they see fit.
Keep the space accessible
Accessibility for a wide range of people with various disabilities is very important. Create a clear path across the barrier-free waiting area and give people with mobility problems the opportunity to choose a seat. Create enough free space, preferably next to the walls, between the armchairs, chairs and couches so that everyone has the same freedom of choice.
Bring in plants
Plants perform several important functions. They have
a calming effect, visually refresh the space and can serve as part of the acoustic shielding of individual parts of the space. Plants can also direct the attention of those waiting where you need it. For example, a living wall behind the reception desk works great. Plants in the waiting room also give a subjective feeling of better air and thus help reduce anxiety (in reality, plants do not increase the amount of oxygen in the room very much, but their psychological effect is significant).
If the waiting area is to serve anyone, the profile of the company and the people who will spend the most time in it must always be taken into account. Proper design is always based not only on modern trends, but also on real experience and needs. A modern waiting room cannot resemble a storage area for surplus from a newsagent's stand, but must be an integrated part of the entire space functionally connected to the reception and the rest of the office.
CAPEXUS will design both a new waiting room environment and a new office for you.
Authors of photographs: Milan Mošna, Rastislav Blaško , Martin Šlechta a Zuzana Benešová (Everbay.co)
Published September 8, 2020