When you consider your business’s security, where do you place the first line of defense? For most, this front line position is taken by the front desk, which is manned by one or more receptionists responsible for greeting clients and other visitors, answering calls, scheduling, filing, and other clerical tasks. Ultimately, your receptionist decides who does and who does not have access to your business. Below is a helpful infographic detailing some characteristics of a good front desk/reception area.


When designing reception or lobby areas, most architects and interior designers are more concerned with flow and aesthetics than they are with the security of the design. This can result in serious gaps in a building’s security, such as allowing a visitor to pass private offices before reaching the front desk. Do you notice security gaps such as this one in your own business or other building? Consider the following tips in proper reception/lobby area design.

Three Tips for a Secure Front Desk

Close the Space

The purpose of the lobby from a security standpoint is to control who does and does not have access to the private areas of the organization beyond the reception area. This task can become exceedingly difficult when a poorly-designed lobby gives visitors access to certain points prior to reaching the front desk, such as stairs, elevators, etc. Keep the lobby/reception area a closed space to prevent these security gaps. The ideal lobby has two points of entry: the front door and the door to the building’s private areas. The front desk, including any receptionist or security personnel, should be placed between these two entrances, or else the door leading to the private areas needs to be access controlled using access cards or another method.

Consider Line of Sight

Many lobbies and reception areas make the mistake of placing the front desk at the wrong angle as it relates to the flow of traffic through the space. Your receptionist needs to be able to see approaching visitors as soon as they come through the front door, not as they round a corner or approach from the side. Visitors, too, should not have to hunt for the front desk. We’re concerned with security here, but we don’t want to forget about your customers and clients. They should be able to enter your reception area and immediately locate the front desk.

Consider Visitor Needs

It can be tricky to balance the needs of visitors with a building’s security needs, but two small suggestions can go a long way. For one, be sure to include a bathroom that can be accessed from the lobby. Having your only visitor bathrooms in your private areas forces visitors into the inner workings of your business, where they may have no other reason to be. Another space you can include off of your reception area is a small conference room. This will allow you to meet with visitors without having to bring them into your private areas.

If you’re considering hiring professional personnel to handle your front desk security services, don’t hesitate to contact JS Security Consulting for a free consultation.