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

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.

FIA EXPANDING OFFICES IN WINDSOR, CT

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Over recent weeks, Infinity Group has been working with Fiduciary Investment Advisors (FIA) to expand their offices at 100 Northfield Drive in Windsor, CT. The new workspace, located on the building’s second floor, will provide a new home to 17 employees, while also serving as a catalyst for increased adaptability and collaboration.

The new space, purposed for FIA’s creative staff, will feature a variety of tailor-made solutions to help increase communication and flexibility among employees, including sit-stand desks and other modern elements. A sleek, polished kitchen / cafeteria will also double as a meeting area, while colorful furniture on the patio will allow FIA’s employees to take a breath a fresh air and gain inspiration from the scenic view.

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“Infinity worked with us on two previous expansion projects and we were pleased with their professionalism and customer service,” said Maureen Cooper, Managing Partner and Chief Operating Officer at FIA. “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.

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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 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

 

TIME TO LIGHTEN UP: HOW YOUR LIGHTING IS AFFECTING YOUR BUSINESS

When drafting an office design, it could be easy to forget the importance of lighting. After all, in going through the process of changing out furniture, paint, carpeting and other elements of an office, sometimes lighting might be the very last thing on the list – or not even on the list at all. The sad irony of this, however, is that lighting actually does impact almost everything in an office. When we ignore lighting, we do so at our own peril.

Most importantly, lighting really is first and foremost a safety issue: Not only can poor lighting be both depressing and irritating for employees, but it can actually trigger eyesight problems and pose other real physical dangers.

Beyond that, we all know that dark offices are both unwelcoming and unprofessional. Neither clients nor employees want to feel like they are stepping into a cave when they cross the threshold into an office. For this reason, every area should be well-lit, with lights designed to inspire everyone.

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What many business owners and office managers may not know, however, is that lighting has a wide variety of other functions. For one, proper lighting can actually boost a team’s mood — and thus also their responsiveness and communication. Offices that are well-lit are conducive to productivity. Using more natural light contributes to workers’ health and boosts their motivation as well.

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

As such, in coming up with an office design plan, it’s important that we always aim for an efficient and inspiring lighting plan. Though typically overlooked, lighting is perhaps the single most important factor that makes for a healthy and lively workplace.

Don’t be left in the dark! For more information on how Infinity Group can help you with your office lighting, contact us for a no-charge consultation today.

Spacing out: How having the right design can make an office look less cramped

The office design plan can have a profound effect on a person’s productivity. It might not be obvious but tight spaces can make people feel more distracted especially when the room is full of different things that can keep them away from the task at hand. What most firms don’t know is that there are lots of things that can be done to turn cramped spaces into places that are favorable for productivity.

Designing an office space has to be carefully planned. Rushing into renovations may not be advantageous as it might lead to more repairs in the future. To make sure that the process will be fruitful and helpful to those who are working in the office space, there are crucial details that need to be considered.

First, one must consider the office layout that best suits their company culture. For an interactive office, perhaps an open workspace might be beneficial. Instead of using traditional cubicles for each person’s workspace, perhaps creating spaces that will allow people to focus on their own tasks without being too secluded can be a better option. Using wide desks that people can share can be a space saver while also encouraging co-workers to have a sense of community in the office. However, for stricter workspaces such as medical offices, it is important to keep the place clean and organized. Instead of having a spread-out layout, they can choose to utilize one part of the office where the bulk of the tasks can be done to accommodate the machineries and even their clients.

Next, attention must be paid to the interior pieces. When it comes to furniture, companies must have them in the highest quality especially for the areas shared with clients. Lobby design and waiting room design must always prioritize the comfort of the visitors. Making these places reflect the company culture will create a good impression among the guests. When it comes to the work areas, these places can have a mix of fun and functionality. For many employees, being in one place for hours on end might not help them accomplish their tasks better. By adding comfy furniture and even corners where they can relax, employees will be able to recharge for a bit.

Lastly, lighting should also be taken into consideration when it comes to office design. Using natural and artificial light will help employees focus. It can also make the office look more bright, energetic, and spacious. Darker rooms create an isolating impression and might cause more stress. Though it’s not always noticed, the right lighting can make people feel productive and settled in the office. It also brings out the nicest features of the place.

For businesses that are thinking about renovating their office, Infinity Groupis the name they can trust. With their sole point of contact system, clients don’t have to be burdened with the task of mobilizing a team of professionals to bring their vision for their office to life. Office redesign doesn’t need to be a stressful endeavor. With the right team and a well-thought-out plan, the whole project will be success.