There are a wide variety of choices for reception desks, but most of them fall within 4 basic shapes. Each of these shapes has a different functionality, a different appearance in the room, takes up a different amount of floor space, and comes in different styles. The 4 shapes for most office front desks are straight, L-shaped, U-shaped, and curved.

Straight Reception Desks

The number one advantage of straight desks is the savings of floor space. A straight small reception desk takes less room on the floor than any other type of desk of equal capacity. It can be placed in front of a window or wall, across from a door, or diagonally across a corner. The floor positions are many for this simplest of all desks.

The straight line desk is compact and convenient as long as there are not too many different tasks being done at the front desk. When there is too much going on at the desk, the straight shape struggles to hold all the activity without the help of some additional office furniture to accompany the desk. Privacy is also lacking because both sides are open.  Small reception desks, however, have the benefit of saving valuable office space yet able to service many office reception needs.

L-Shaped Reception Desks

The beauty of an L-shaped desk is that it can be placed in a corner. One side is to the wall, two sides are available to the clients, and the back side is where the receptionist sits in his office chair. This takes up a little more room than a straight desk, but it is still fairly compact. Yet it has a larger amount of storage and work area. It is a good compromise between the largest U-shaped or curved desks and a simple straight desk.

One disadvantage is that it is difficult to move from one corner to a corner across the room while maintaining that same layout of two sides for the client. Some L-shaped reception desks can be taken apart and put back together in the opposite layout, while solid desks are not changeable.

U-Shaped Reception Desks

The U-shaped desk is just what it sounds like. It makes the shape of a U. It is best used in the middle of a room, or at least in a position where the three outer sides are available to clients and visitors. Although it can be used in a corner, the U shape is wasted. In that case, though, there is an advantage over the L-shaped desk in that the U-shaped desk can be moved from one side of the room to another easily.

The U-shaped desk should have plenty of room for storage, as well as counter space for business tasks that must be performed. Check-in, appointment-making, message-taking, word processing, and other tasks can be handled with little or no additional office furniture nearby.

Curved Reception Desks

Curved desks are usually the most stylish of all the reception desks available. They take up a fair amount of room on the floor, and they can be difficult to move. The upsides are that they have ample room for working and storage, and they look fantastic.