CME Associates headquarters is designed for new talent

CME Associates recently relocated to Storrs Center near the University of Connecticut’s Main Campus. CME’s CEO, Brad Cheney, describes how the new facility is perfectly suited for tomorrow’s engineers.

For more information on this project and Connecticut’s premier design solutions provider, Infinity Group, visit: http://infinitygroupus.com

 

Video Transcription:

I’m Brad Cheney I’m the CEO and president of CME associate. CME is an engineering architecture firm. we we do engineering environmental science and architectural design.

We wanted to relocate our headquarters office to stores because of the adjacent seated University of Connecticut and the research opportunities and the opportunity to meet talents before graduate and get to know people and get them to join our firm as they’re leaving the engineering school or the environmental sciences school. We were driving through this neighborhood in the south end of campus and realized that there was one vacant spot left didn’t this new commercial development that was big enough for our headquarters. If you go to a commercial broker in apps for class a office space in stores or Mansfield Connecticut they’ll basically look at you oddly and tell you that there is no such thing and the reality of it is in Eastern Connecticut. There’s very very little class a office space and what we ended up having to do was take retail space and up fitted her around you. While we’re designers by trade were not designers of office space by trade and what we did not want to do was develop space that was like everybody else’s face.

The purpose of being here just adjacent to the Yukon campus is not to have a whole bunch of people sitting behind closed doors in individual offices it’s to get some interaction between our folks and the university and start getting students to come in and work for us as intern summer employment and to really allow us to find the talent we need to continue to grow.What infinity did from a project management standpoint which was a very organized very disciplined approach of meetings and communication on a rigid schedule so we always what was going on we always had very easy access to a list of items that were waiting for our action and as soon as we responded it was obvious to us whose responsibility it was to take that information to do something with it so things didn’t get lost in the process and we always knew where we were. It was a unique combination of finding the design expertise. I’m going to as you look around our office you’ll see colors that aren’t normally associated with engineers so getting the design and the construction management expertise all in one spot. I think it brings better ideas to the table because everybody’s trusting each other and when somebody has a design idea your construction folks are there to understand kind of what the cost ramifications are or the schedule ramifications of making those kinds of choices and when a question needs to be answered you’re not trying to bring multiple entities together in a telephone call. They’re all part of the same organization. They were very very interested in understanding what we’re trying to accomplish and they weren’t interested in imposing their design ideas they certainly had a lot of ideas and Jessica was very very easy to work with but once once she get a feel for what we were trying to do her focus very clearly was to keep us on on that idea on track and to make choices that kept complimenting that idea in building on it she understood the program very very quickly and kept us on track this space is very convenient it gives people a place to interact informally the work spaces were intentionally designed very compact and very open from one person’s work place to another the informal communications that happen simply because nobody’s behind closed door nobody’s around the corner and you can’t see them it makes for better internal communications. It also makes the space more cost effective because you can put a lot more people in a smaller space this is about sixty percent of the size of the office space we left and there’s more room here we’ve been in this space for approximately two week every day or two student walks in looking for work just the exposure has resulted in a higher profile for us incredibly organized they said what they were going to do and they did it you ended up with a space that I think really will be a good investment when we found something that wasn’t quite right there was never any response other than to define what the issue was define what the solution was and get it taken care of.

HOW A LAW OFFICE’S DESIGN CAN WIN (OR LOSE) CLIENTS

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It’s no secret that the legal profession is one of the most competitive fields around. In order to be a successful law firm, you need to be competent, savvy and always prepared. What’s more, you need to ensure that you are attracting the right kinds of clients.

When searching for the ideal client, different firms try different strategies. Some opt for advertising. Others network and rely on referrals. And we all know law firms who host seminars in hopes of winning over clients. Whatever your firm’s marketing strategy is, one key element should not be overlooked: your office design.

While certainly everyone is cognizant of the condition of his or her office, few of us really ever stops to consider the impact that it has on our guests.

Entering an office that you have never visited is a visceral experience. On some level, all of our surroundings are sending us a message about the people who we are visiting. Even the minor details in an office—but especially the major ones—can play a major role in determining whether or not we ever step foot in that office again.

As such, it is important for all legal professionals to really evaluate their office design. What message does the layout of your office convey to your visitors? Is it helping you in signing the right kinds of clients? Realistically, how much is your current office costing you in lost opportunities? What’s more, how is your design impacting your firm and your career?

Take a moment to consider just a few elements that have a major impact on your office design:

 

How does your lobby greet your clients?

The lobby is where visitors get their very first impression about your firm. Lobby areas that are crowded can make everyone who enters feel uncomfortable. After all, who wants to be crammed into a small space with strangers when we are considering legal options that could impact the rest of our lives? Providing an open area gives a sense of freedom and well-being. It gives your visitors a place to breathe, relax, and digest the emotions that are influencing their decision-making.

Beyond that, the furniture in every legal office needs to be tasteful and understated. Sure, you want to stand out among the competition. But you don’t want to be known as the law office with hideous furniture. Get something simple yet elegant. Your visitors will notice and immediately associate the taste with the professionalism of your law firm.

 

What atmosphere is your lighting creating?

It’s amazing how we as individuals get used get to the lighting of our office. After a few weeks working somewhere, we may start to ignore how overwhelmingly bright or uniquely dark certain parts of our office are. While these features might now be normal for you, they might send an immediate red flag to your potential client.

Combining natural and artificial lighting is the best option for crafting a dynamic law office.  By utilizing direct and indirect lighting, strategically placing bulbs and lamps will provide a soothing, liberated atmosphere for your guests. In addition to sunlight, environment-friendly LED lights are the best choice for cost-effective lighting that doesn’t sacrifice quality.

 

Who does your desk say you are?

Believe it or not, your desk is talking about you. In fact, it talks to every single person who walks into your room. It tells a full story about who you are, who you think you are, and how you treat other people.

But guess what? Your desk isn’t the only one gossiping about you. Every piece of furniture throughout your entire office is speaking.

When a client sits in an uncomfortable chair, they hear: “You aren’t a priority.”

When your client sees an askew bookcase, a voice whispers: “You’re risking a lot.”

Furniture is tells a story all the time to anyone who is willing to listen. In well-designed offices, the story is about a competent firm who cares about clients and fights for justice. In poorly-designed offices, the tale is one of risk and uncertainty.

Sometimes it is hard to know exactly what story the furniture is telling. Likewise, it can be hard to design the right kind of lobby and coordinate the proper kind of lighting. This is why law firms often turn to design experts who have a proven track record for defining and delivering functional, elegant workspaces that both streamline efficiency and reduce overhead.

If you are concerned that your office is losing you clients, do not waste any more time. Contact a respected design solutions provider today!

 

For more information, contact Infinity Group via 860-726-9384 or marketing@infinitygroupus.com

3 WAYS TO TURN YOUR OFFICE INTO A WELL-OILED MACHINE

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Every business strives for efficiency. Well, at least every legitimate, sensible business. Whether you are implementing Six Sigma and kaizen methodology or on the lookout for some cheaper vendors, the fact is you want to increase profit and reduce costs.
The one key piece of the puzzle that way, way too many businesses miss, however, is office efficiency. By having a poor office design, businesses throw money away in a variety of ways.
Why on earth would I change my office design? you might ask. The paint and carpets are new. We have chairs to sit in and desks for our computers. Things are fine the way they are!
But stop for a minute and actually think about it: Does your office run efficiently? Is it designed to motivate your staff, save money and provide resources? Or is it a slow, clunky drain on your budget? Are you losing time and money every single day because of easily-neutralized roadblocks?
Well, the chances are that, if you haven’t done more than keep your office looking pretty, you are not using it to its full potential.
Here are a few tips on how to make sure that your office is working for your company:

Make It Fuel Your Team

A poorly-designed office can be a serious drain on employees. If the setting is depressing or if there are obstacles preventing communication, your team will be running much more slowly than it needs to be.
Changing your office design is the spark needed to light the fuse of employee productivity. Add colors, lighting and art that will inspire your staff’s creativity. Ergonomic and adaptable furniture will make work physically easier for your team. An open design with collaboration zones will increase synergies and allow for dynamic communication. By making one small investment in design, a business can find that it has created a thoroughly-motivated workforce.

How Much Energy Does It Use?

Few offices understand the profound influence that lighting has on their office—and thus the entire company. Your lighting can motivate your staff and impress clients. Furthermore, using natural and energy-efficient lighting can save you a bundle on electricity bills.
Use natural lighting wherever possible. By adding quality blinds, you can also keep the office cool during the hot summer months. Furthermore, the use of energy-efficient lights, timers and motion-sensors will help keep your monthly energy bill low.

Find Each Area’s Purpose

Many offices run inefficiently for one simple reason: They are messy. Over time, clutter piles up and different departments begin using the same area for different reasons. Rather than being adaptable, spaces become anarchic.
While we certainly need to let our office flow freely, there need to be defined areas in any office. Where is your reception area? Where is your meeting room? Where is your kitchen or breakroom? Where do you do training?
By having clear-cut, defined areas for each of these tasks, your office can function more deliberately. Ensuring this definition and purpose in the office will in-kind provide clarity for the entire business overall.
Every company needs to examine its entire process to determine where its greatest inefficiencies are. The only way to maximize productivity is to take a hard look at how every cog in the machine functions, and how they work together. Do not let your office be a source of lost time and money for your company. Face the challenge head-on and make your business everything that it is meant to be.

IS YOUR OFFICE SABOTAGING YOUR TEAM?

Few things weigh on a leader’s mind as heavily as ensuring the cohesion of his or her team. On a daily basis, executives and managers must confront hard questions about their staff: Is communication flowing well to every individual? Are office politics and vested interests marginalizing talent?  Does bureaucracy or imbalanced department size make equitable collaboration impossible? What dynamics will maximize the value of every employee?

Each year, businesses spend billions of dollars trying to motivate their team. Through company outings, incentive programs, office competitions and the like, businesses large and small do almost everything imaginable to build an all-star team. What many of these companies miss, however, is that their physical office environment is working against their best efforts.

Below are just a few ways that your office might be sabotaging your team and some surefire solutions to each of these problems:

Make room for communication

Some offices face the challenge of being too fragmented or isolated. People who need to communicate regularly are physically far apart. Rather than bringing people together to collaborate on a task, the office is designed in such a way as to actually prevent a team from relaying important information in a timely manner.

To combat this, think about which members of the team need to work together. Put them in an open or shared environment where individuals can quickly turn to each other for ideas, feedback or assistance.

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Add features like sit-stand desks to make the area adaptable and versatile. Make sure there are screens to share information to numerous individuals. Create a concrete path for your team to take shape. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Allow for private space as well

On the other side of the spectrum, some companies have the opposite problem of having no privacy. Perhaps the entire team is squeezed into one small space. Or maybe just a couple of departments are forced one area, creating needless distractions or making employees reserved about voicing certain important information. It also could be that the office is so quiet that people don’t want to speak up for fear that everyone else will hear them.

While collaboration is a necessary tool, it’s not a cure-all. It is also necessary to create private areas, especially for different departments.

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While this might not always be possible in smaller environments, adding doors or even some light background music will give cover for folks to relay information. Creating soundproof conference rooms or adaptable café areas will also provide space purposed for sharing important information or preparing for an important launch.

Don’t stifle creativity

Even when offices strike the perfect balance of shared and private space, they still do nothing to inspire the imagination. For folks who spend more than eight hours in one confined area, they need some invigorating stimuli to keep motivated. Don’t let your creative staff drown in mundane monotony!

Beyond the aforementioned music, there are many other ways that you can make your office more creative. Bright colors, unique furniture, uplifting artwork and interesting plants can all be sources of inspiration for your team.

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Also provide tools to share and visualize concepts, like whiteboards or dry-erase glass. Use lighting to give your office a cool look. Make sure that everything in your office facilitates rather than stifles creativity.

It is true that office design by itself is not the solitary reason teams are either well-oiled machines or dysfunctional disasters. Certainly there should be time for getting feedback from different departments, company picnics and games around the office. But, at the same time, no structure is solid without a good foundation. Lay the foundation for your team by creating an environment that will get the most out of every member of your team.

For more information, contact Infinity Group via 860-726-9384 or marketing@infinitygroupus.com

FIA OPENS NEW OFFICE SPACE IN WINDSOR

Infinity Group is proud to announce the completion of work at Fiduciary Investment Advisors’ expanded office space in Windsor, CT. The new workspace, located on second floor of 100 Northfield Drive, provides a stylish ultramodern home for 17 employees and serve as a catalyst for streamlined efficiency.

Encompassing numerous tailor-made solutions, this new space will also provide for more flexibility and versatility. Sit-stand desks in two shared workspaces and several private offices will help foster more communication and adaptability among FIA’s creative staff.

 

Likewise, FIA’s design offers state-of-the-art collaboration zones, including a beautiful café / kitchen space with sliding doors that can double as a town hall meeting area. New colorful furniture on the patio allows employees to take a breath a fresh air and take inspiration from the scenic view.

“From the very beginning until the end, Infinity has been responsive, informative and comforting,” said Maureen Cooper, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer at FIA. “They have been a fantastic group to work with every step of the way.”

“Infinity worked with us on two previous expansion projects and we were pleased with their professionalism and customer service,” Cooper said. “When it came time once again to review expansion options, Infinity worked closely with us to come up with the best solution. The process took several months, discussions and drawings. They listened, they added perspective and helped us reach a conclusion.”

Typically, under the traditional construction model, companies like FIA need to sign different contracts with both a design firm and a construction firm. This means managers must constantly deal with both parties and relay information between the two.

Infinity Group’s system of design-led construction, however, means that Infinity is a single point of accountability, as well as a partner, through all phases of the project’s completion. By simplifying the process, Infinity Group was able to work with FIA to understand, define and deliver on vision, timeline and budget.

FIA is an independent, employee-owned, investment consulting firm that works with fiduciary clients, including retirement plan sponsors, institutions, non-profit organizations and private clients. They provide customized investment advisory services to assist their clients in achieving investment objectives while fulfilling their fiduciary obligations.

Infinity Group is Connecticut’s premier design solutions provider. Over the past decade, Infinity Group has worked with businesses in various industries to solve office a diverse array of office problems. Infinity has transformed workspaces from Storrs to Stamford, providing tailor-made solutions to every client’s unique needs.

For more information, please contact Infinity Group Marketing Director Steven Durel via 860–726–9384 or marketing@infinitygroupus.com

Make your training room conducive to learning

Corporate trainings are a great way to empower and add to the skills of employees. Bringing in experts and resource speakers who will share their know-how with the team shows how much a company values the development of their people. However, there should be a good venue for all these gatherings. A company’s training room design should cater not only to the needs of the guests but of the employees as well. What makes a training room conducive to learning?

Good acoustics and ventilation

 These aspects can be achieved with the right materials and equipment. The room doesn’t have to be necessarily soundproof. However, it’s important for everyone in the room to clearly hear whoever is in front. When the chatter disrupts the main speaker, the trainees might not be able to absorb what they’re supposed to be learning.

As for ventilation, most company training rooms are notorious for having freezing temperatures. To ensure the comfort of everyone in the venue, the air conditioners should be set up properly, covering the areas where people are situated. Too much cold can make a person feel sleepy or antsy. Having the right ventilation is a concern that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Use bright and motivating colors

 Some companies prefer to have neutral colors to be on the safe side. Offices with a dynamic and active culture can perhaps experiment with bright colors. According to color psychology, green is a color that helps with memorization while striking hues like red or orange can help boost focus. Incorporating these colors in some of the fixtures will not just make a remarkable design pop but will also aid trainees as they try to absorb all the learning from their training.

Use ergonomic furniture and maximize space

From tables to chairs, it’s important to prioritize the comfort of the trainees and trainers. Instead of going for classroom-style chairs and tables, an option would be to use long tables and upholstered chairs that will make employees feel truly professional. Instead of the usual setup, the chairs and tables can be arranged on the sides allowing everyone to focus on the center of the room where speakers are standing. With this setup, the speakers will also be on top of the action as they are able to see what is going on with the trainees.

By planning furniture design and arrangement, firms will also have the chance to maximize floor space. A training room that has enough space for everyone is always appropriate.

Training rooms are usually an overlooked area in the office even if they’re always being used. When it comes to drafting an office design plan, this area should be given a lot of thought to accommodate the specific needs of employees and guests. When it comes to designing a training room, the learning and development of the company’s people should always be considered.

A TREATMENT PLAN FOR YOUR MEDICAL OR DENTAL LOBBY

When patients think about visiting their doctor or dentist for a checkup, the first visual that typically comes to mind is the reception area. Sure, the lobby is where we get our first impression about any business. But when it comes to medical and dental offices in particular, the waiting area is where we take time to make early judgments about the quality of service that we are about to receive.

Many people don’t like having to sit in a reception area. One of Jerry Seinfeld’s early successful comedy routines was all about the tedium of waiting in the waiting room. When most people think of a medical or dental lobby, they think of outdated magazines, uncomfortable chairs, and a ticking clock. Worse yet, if you’re worried about a possible health issue or in any kind of physical pain, time in this part of the office can feel tortuous

As such, it’s both important and easy for any doctor or dentist to stand out from the crowd. Go the extra mile to make that great first impression on your patients. The results will be shocking.

Here are some ideas to consider when it comes to your medical or dental lobby design:

Make it spacious

Lobby areas that are crowded can make everyone who enters feel uncomfortable. After all, who wants to be crammed in a room full of people who might be contagious? Providing an open area gives a sense of freedom and well-being.
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But what if there’s a lot of foot traffic in the area? The office should opt for a design that will accommodate people who are finding their way through the rooms as well as those who have to sit and wait for a while. Think about the experience of everyone who has to either pass through or wait. What is the best option for everyone?
Of course, some offices are just small. How do you make the waiting room bigger when it’s just tiny? If there’s not much space to begin with, organize your furniture to give the appearance of space. Set the chairs so that they are not facing each other. Get a smaller table. Use bright colors. Make the patient feel like they are in an open area, not a confined space.

Choose sturdy, comfortable, modest furniture

When picking furniture for the reception area, three considerations need to be kept in mind: it can’t be flimsy, it can’t be uncomfortable, and it can’t be tacky.
First off, the furniture needs to be sturdy. Different kinds of people will stay in the lobby and there’s a possibility that furniture will be damaged due to careless use by some of the visitors. As such, it’s best to invest in furniture that is modest but will be used for a long time.
203-245-3752 www.olsonphotographic.com info@olsonphotographic.com
Secondly, the chairs need to be comfortable. Chances are, at least some of your patients are going to be in serious physical pain. Why make it worse on them? Get chairs with soft cushions and welcoming armrests. Make sure that the fabric does not leave imprints on the skin.
Finally, the furniture needs to be modest. Sure, you want to stand out among the competition. But you don’t want to stand out as the doctor’s office with hideous furniture. Get something simple yet elegant. Your patients will notice and immediately associate the taste with the professionalism of the office.

Have an area for the kids

 If one thing is a timeless reality, it is that children do not like going to the doctor or dentist. All the lollypops in the world aren’t going to change that fact. When children are then forced to sit in the waiting room, they will inevitably end up jumping on furniture, whining, and screaming. Worse yet, other patients will associate the sound of crying children with your office.
Give kids their own area away from the rest of the patients. Have some toys and children’s books available. If possible, design it to seem like its own space.

Keep the whole place bright and clean

Some designs make lobbies look murky and cramped. This doesn’t just display a lack of taste from the staff, it also signals laziness and apathy. As such, go with something that will show that the place is being well-maintained.
203-245-3752 www.olsonphotographic.com info@olsonphotographic.com
Make your lobby bright and clean. Visitors will get the impression that the services and treatments they’ll be receiving are of a superior quality. Communicate the message of health in the design. When a place is maintained, has good lighting and ventilation, it becomes easy for visitors to feel at ease.
Coming up with lobby design doesn’t have to be complicated. When it comes to redesign plans, the comfort and needs of the clients and employees should be top priority.
For more information, contact New England’s premier medical and dental design solutions provider, Infinity Group, at 860-726-9384.

Conceptualizing a dynamic training room

Training rooms should be a lively part of the office. Gone are the days when these spaces look plain and dull, causing trainers and trainees to feel bored while they should be improving on their skills. Training room design plans should be drawn from the company’s unique culture and the employees’ specific needs. Instead of re-using commonplace and drab concepts, companies can freely explore different factors that will help make the training room a great place where talent and skills are developed.

What are some details that need to be incorporated to make a training room more dynamic? Here are some ideas:

Ample space for a variety of activities

Some training rooms look like another conference room. This shouldn’t always be the case. While there should be seats and tables in these rooms, there should also be enough space for teams to work together without making them feel too stressed-out. The space should also allow those who want to move around to do some stretching especially when they’ve been doing one task for hours on end. In many cases, some sessions also involve physical activity. Coming up with a room that will allow people to have a little bit of fun can make all the difference.

A corner for supplies and storage

Lots of materials will be used during sessions in the training room. To make things easier for the participants, there should be a small corner in the area where they can get the supplies and materials they need. There should also be a place where they can store their things so that these would not be all over the floor. The goal is to make the room spacious without compromising the convenience of the people

Food and refreshments table

Most companies provide meals and drinks during trainings. For this kind of setup, it would be nice to have a table where participants can go and socialize during the break. For those who want their mid-day coffee, having a pot of coffee in this table can keep them away from escaping to the pantry. It’s a little addition but it will give the participants a lot of convenience while keeping them in one place.

Computer and printer areas

Having a computer and printer everyone can use in the room is a great addition to the training room. There might come a time when some documents might need to be accessed and printed during a session. In addition, the renovated training room should facilitate the use of laptops. The place should also have steady connection and allow participants to easily use their gadgets.

Infinity Group gives their clients the best solutions for their office redesign plans. Renovating office spaces should never be left in the back burner. It can be done in one go or in parts according to a company’s budget. Those who are considering renovation can partner with the firm. With Infinity Group, companies don’t have to worry about assembling a team of professionals, as the firm is responsible for mobilizing contractors that will be involved with the project. Instead of worrying about these details, companies can rest assured that they can continue with their business while their partners are working towards fulfilling their plans.