To create an office waiting room, it's a good idea to pretend to be a client or patient and walk in from your entry door to the reception desk. After reaching the reception desk, a client or patient is typically asked to take a seat. Think about what type of furnishings you should have as well as the capacity of the seating you'll need.
If children are likely to be part of the waiting room crowd, you may want to create a child-friendly area with a few toys and books. Remember to have chairs nearby to this space for the children's parents to sit and supervise them. It's typically best to place the children's area as far away from the reception desk as possible in case the noise level becomes a little louder when you or other staff are on the telephone. Limiting the activities to quieter ones such as story and coloring books rather than drum sets can also help keep the noise down from children in the office waiting room.
In case you don't have the space for a separate children's area, you may want to place some children's books and coloring items on a table in one corner. For adults, you could order magazine subscriptions of publications that would appeal to the interests of your customers or that relate to your field, such as health or business. Having an area to display informational pamphlets as well as a bulletin board can serve as a customer information center. It's important for your magazines to be fairly up to date if you want your office waiting room to create a good impression. If you don't want to get magazine subscriptions, you could ask your staff members to bring their magazines in when they've finished reading them.
Since waiting rooms do reflect on your business or practice, furniture and decor is important. Take some time to look through office supply catalogs and compare prices to find the best office waiting room furnishings within your budget. Once you have the basic pieces, a few indoor trees in planters and some pleasant framed prints hung on the walls can help create a tasteful atmosphere to make waiting customers feel comfortable and valued. Try to choose a comforting color scheme that fits in with your office space. Since you should accommodate the needs of all of your clients, be sure that your waiting room is wheelchair accessible.