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Rethinking the Waiting Room: Ideas to Better Your Office Waiting Room


Better Office Waiting Room

In designing the elements of an office space, it’s easy to overlook one seemingly trivial part—the waiting room. With the several and varying functions encompassing an office space—the staff floor, the upper management offices, conference rooms, or what have you—waiting rooms aren’t exactly at the top hierarchy of priorities.

It should also be noted that waiting rooms set the tone for the company image you want to portray for those on the outside looking in. No one would really be enticed to enter a house if the front lawn or gate is a mess. If you’re traveling to a country, and are pretty excited for the trip, it’s a bit of a downer if the airport is in shambles. The same goes for waiting rooms.

You’ve been told over and over how important it is to make a good first impression. For visitors, clients, and all others who do business with you, that’s what the waiting room does. With all that being said, having a concrete plan for the look, feel, and ambiance of your waiting room is of the essence. And for something as vital as that, you need a concrete plan.

Things You Need to Consider 

  1. 1. Image

    The waiting room serves as the front door to your company, and as such, it should convey what your business is about. If you’re in the advertising business, or the media, it’s best to showcase an integral part of your craft—creativity.

    Well-thought of decors, lighting, furniture, and things of that ilk all add up to stamp your company’s penchant for the creative. If you’re in healthcare, clean lines, simple colors, and good lighting convey a blend of cleanliness and integrity. It’s important to recognize how you want to be perceived as a company, and conceptualizing how you can translate that outward perception into your waiting room. 

  2. 2. Functionality

    People are there to do business with you in one way or another. It’s good then if you make them feel that their business is important to you by providing them things to do other than stare at the walls or the hands of your clock.

    Reading materials pertinent to your line of business, a TV playing things relevant to what it is you do, or even something like free Wi-Fi (which helps with their personal productivity while waiting to do business with you) tells them that you appreciate their time. That sets a positive precedent for everything else that follows.

  3. 3. Empathy

    Put yourself in the shoes of those waiting for you. What would you like to be able to do while in someone else’s waiting room? How comfortable would you like to be?

    We all know how it is to be stuck in a waiting room for a while, so when designing your own, it’s important for you to place careful consideration on how it is to be on the boring end of the waiting line. Understanding the kind of business you’re in allows you to understand what kind of people will be trooping to your office and staying in the waiting room. This will, in turn, be the source of all sorts of ideas and innovations that you can pepper your waiting room with.

Furniture Ideas

  • Sofas speak a thousand words – If your waiting room is going to have people seated as they wait, wouldn’t it just make perfect sense to have them seated comfortably? And that’s just one of the things a good sofa brings to your waiting room. It also serves as a great room piece, as well as one that sets the mood for your clients. It’s amazing how a sofa can be so understated and yet so vital to something as seemingly trivial as a waiting room. 
  • Rug it up – Not everyone has a knack for interior design, and if you’re one of them, just take this piece of advice—rugs matter. It’s a great piece to accentuate any room. And in one like a waiting room where eyes are meandering for the most part, a snazzy looking rug can do a lot for the boredom of waiting. It not only does wonders for the acoustics of a room, it does its subtle part in aesthetics as well. 
  • And then there was light – Few things set the mood in a room better than lighting. It can be the most minimal of room designs, but with the proper lighting—especially one that ushers in the company vibe in the subtlest of ways—it’s understated magic. 
  • Go Green – In this day and age where companies put a premium on corporate social responsibility, eco-friendly furniture and fixtures have steadily become the norm. It starts from the little things, like labeling light and appliance switches, regular cleaning and maintenance to improve efficiency, smart control systems, leaning more into cloud use to foster a more paperless operation, waterless urinals, and many more. These things should be prevalent throughout the entire office, but it should also be evident in the waiting room.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when thinking about the office waiting room. These concepts may seem trivial when looked at individually, but collectively, these elements can go a long way toward fostering a forward thinking culture throughout the company.

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