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front desk 2021

Workplace Trends: The Front Desks of 2021

18 March, 2020

 It’s always interesting to step into an office reception. We all know how much the first impression counts and the front desk is sort of the face of the organization. It sets the tone for your feelings towards a company and their brand. This is of course something a lot of creative organizations have thought about and spared no expense or energy on creating innovative reception areas.

Since we apparently have become obsessed with office design trends for 2021, we just had to look towards receptions and front desks. Looking back to 2020, when we suddenly had to start working from home, front desks wasn't really the focus. But now, when it's finally time to return to the office, we're curious on what the future has in store for the reception area. 

Branded reception areas

Branded interior in reception areas has been around for a while now, but we think it will be even more in fashion the coming year. Just to make sure there are no misunderstandings here, we’re not talking about enlarging your logo and putting it on the wall or on the front desk. Branded interior is so much bigger than that. It means incorporating your brand into the entire interior of the reception area (and sometimes the entire office). Stepping into 2021 some companies are taking it even further. Company colors are being integrated in walls, floors, ceilings and furniture. The purpose of doing this is to give visitors as well as coworkers a feeling of uniformity the second they step into the reception. 

Combining lighting and design

Designer lamps are nothing new, we know. But one of the biggest trends for reception areas in 2021 is creating impressive synergies between lighting and design. First of all, creating art out of necessities is amazing, let’s just have that said. And lighting is nothing less than crucial in an office environment. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, great lighting can produce both “potent biological and therapeutic effects”. In reception areas, we are going to see more spectacular lighting installations in different forms. Seems as if big and bold will be the leading words for these designs. 

reception area

No front desk?

Having no front desk might be the most non-surprising trend for 2021, but this trend started to pick up even before 2020. As technology progresses it has become possible to welcome guests without actually having a receptionist. Different check-in systems are enabling guests to sign in themselves and an automated message then reaches the person you’re visiting, who eventually comes to greet you. Even though it’s always interesting to see how technology can evolve the way we work and design our offices this might not always be recommended. We’d say that this type of welcoming only fits certain types of organizations. If you run a larger business that receives drop-ins or has a lot of visitors a physical front desk with an actual person behind it might be to prefer.   


Besides the bigger trends which make up the entire reception area, there are also smaller trends setting the tone for 2021’s front desks. 

  • Asymmetry

Asymmetric front desks are making it big in 2021. Bulky front desks have been around for decades but now we’re changing it up a little bit and switching forms. Asymmetric front desks are not only impressive but give the visitor something cool to rest their eyes on as they wait.  

  • Wood 

Wood, wood, wood as far as the eye can see. Wood isn’t just popular in reception areas but in the entire office design. Some are even taking it as far as bringing in a huge log and using it as the front desk. 

  • Biophilia 

We’ve talked about this before but biophilia really is the new black. Incorporating natural elements into the reception area is rapidly becoming more popular. And why not? According to studies it has a soothing effect on people.

While writing this post, it has really come to mind how important the front desk actually is for setting the tone of the workplace. Imagine walking through the front doors and immediately get a sense of inspiration and motivation? God, we can't wait to return to the office!

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