The one thing all workplaces need to have is the ability to change. The workplace is constantly changing and the requirements for staff change along with it. With this in mind the use of loose furniture over joinery is always an easier option and sometimes more economical.
The requirements for different styles of furniture/workplaces come from within the business, for example if your business is client facing with either clients coming to the office or even if you wish to attract talent the Reception must speak volumes about the way the business is positioned. A good example would be if you want an open friendly environment try a standing desk for reception, with the receptionist already standing, they appear more approachable with no clear physical barrier between the receptionist and the guest. Hotels have used it for years and there is a reason why. Having a coffee machine/station or water dispenser is always a good option. This will al low the guest feel more comfortable with waiting in reception and it also shows the company’s a more hospitable environment.
The workplace itself always works better with a variety of different environments for staff to work. This allows staff to work either collaboratively or allow them to complete focus work if required. Its always important that if you use different styles of furniture where they are positioned or placed in relation to desks. For example having a couch may seem like a good idea but having it positioned near a group of desks will make the couch less attractive as staff will not want to use it or collaborate at it thinking they would disturb those sitting near it. So location of furniture is almost as important as positioning of the furniture.