Getting the job done means having the right tools for the job. When it is all about providing top-level front desk services, there is a list of reception desk materials that makes the difference between the receptionist being a glorified greeter and being an indispensable member of an office.

Reception Area Requirements

When thinking of the reception area, it helps to identify everything that happens there. It’s the place where visitors are first introduced to the business, where couriers fly in and out, where mail is delivered, where calls are received and transferred and more. It is the true workhorse of any company, and yet there is a danger of not using the reception desk to its full potential if the reception staff is not given the tools needed to succeed.

Electronic Requirements in the Reception Area

The reception equipment list in a busy office can be a long one, but the staples for any fast-moving office include:


So much of the receptionist’s job can be supported by having access to executive calendars, office events, internet searches and more.


There may be a dedicated copy room in the company, but a receptionist’s job is to receive the public, so the receptionist must stay close to the front desk. A fax machine seems antiquated today, but it can be essential for some documents, and a printer needs no explanation. Luckily, powerhouse all-in-one machines exist, including scanners too.


Clearly, a reception telephone is a must have. In a perfect world, the receptionist should have the option of using a headset for expedience’s sake, especially if she'll routinely be away from the desk to show clients to offices and such.

Postage Meter

If mailing is a big aspect in the office, a postage meter can be easily acquired for franking the mail quickly and accurately, cutting down on the labor of mailing. Other employees can take outgoing mail to the front desk to be assigned postage.

Webcam or Digital Camera

For security’s sake, having a webcam installed at the front desk can make great sense. Offices have become big theft targets now that every desk has a $2,000 computer on it, and people leave their purses or other electronics so accessible. The webcam can track all visitors in case anything goes awry.

Other Reception Desk Materials

The reception desk itself should be large and have a lot of great storage features in it. It should be a spacious, well-lit area for the receptionist because other employees routinely mill around it for whatever their needs are.

The receptionist should have an ergonomic desk chair with smooth-rolling wheels so he can easily zip around behind the desk. A task lamp is a welcome feature for when days get long or overtime is needed.

Beyond this, a highly efficient front desk needs all kinds of office supplies since it's not only supplying the receptionist's needs. The front desk is often where other employees will turn when they have run out of paper, pens and other supplies. Helpful materials include:

  • Stationery: A variety of printer paper, letterhead, notepads and scrap paper as well as envelopes of all sizes, folders and so on.

  • Recycling bin: To dispose of the sheer volume of paperwork that passes through reception.

  • Miscellaneous supplies: Stapler, staples, paperclips, hole punch, pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters, rulers, tape.

  • Courier supplies: Courier duties can be absolutely critical in many offices, and having courier envelopes and shipment logs well organized at the desk can expedite urgent matters.