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Receptionist Organization Ideas

Successful receptionists are able to gracefully manage multiple tasks while giving a positive first impression of their companies to guests, visitors and potential employees. Whether you work in a small professional services firm or a large multinational corporation, the proper organizational skills can be the key to maintaining an effective reception desk. The best receptionist organization ideas simplify routine tasks and make hospitality more effective.

Quick Reference Guides

Create quick reference guides for routine information such as frequently called numbers, office numbers and phone extension lists. Laminate these guides to make them easy to handle and reference quickly. Place these guides in an organized file when not in active use. Consider having extra copies of these guides to provide upon request. These guides will make you more efficient and can help speed up routine tasks like transferring calls.

Key Appointments

Make a list of anticipated visitors for the day by appointment time. Put the person’s name and whom you should notify upon their arrival. This list will let you customize your welcome statements to visitors. For example, when a guest arrives you can say, “Welcome, Mr. Smith. Ms. Epps is excited about your meeting.” This type of greeting makes a guest feel more welcome and can help improve the results of his meeting. This customized welcome is especially helpful for employee interviews. If a potential employee feels welcomed, she will be more at ease for her interview and will have a more favorable view of working for the company.

Break Rotation Schedule

Ensure you have proper backup to cover your duties when you are on breaks or have sick days. Make "cheat sheets" that outline basic duties and functions that can be given to anyone who is filling in for you. Consider creating a formal schedule that rotates coverage duties among different departments in your company. This rotation system will give you more contact with multiple parts of the business, which makes it easier for you to direct questions in the future.

Company Scrapbooks

Create a company scrapbook that highlights positive news stories and company activities. Craft these books when you have downtime and place them in your waiting area for visitors to review. These books will provide a constructive way for visitors to pass the time while they are waiting for their appointment and can help them become more familiar with your company at the same time. By keeping your guests occupied, you will be able to keep your attention on other assignments and phone calls, which increases your organizational efficiency.


Keep refreshments within easy reach at your reception desk. Install a small refrigerator to store cold drinks under your desk or in the waiting area. Have a one-cup coffee maker within reach, along with standard coffee products like sugar and cream. Place a tray of baked goods on your reception counter, or a bowl of hard candies. By having these refreshments close, you are able to provide warm reception to your company’s guest without the need to leave the reception area.