How Office Space Can Affect Sustainable Business Growth

Businesses everywhere are constantly trying to achieve a sustainable growth rate. For those readers unfamiliar with the terminology, Rosemary Peavler at The Balance Small Business did an excellent job of introducing the concept. According to her, “the sustainable growth rate is the maximum growth rate a business can achieve without having to increase its financial leverage or debt financing.” She also explains how businesses can calculate their sustainable growth rate and strategize further.

Unfortunately, achieving sustainable business growth is much easier said than done. There is no widespread consensus on the best tactics to realize such a goal. Inc. writer Steve Tobak suggests to his readers that “sustainable growth occurs at the intersection of three things.” Those three are a big problem, a unique solution, and a competitive advantage. He discusses the subject in rather broad generalities, but it’s a helpful start for those only beginning their business endeavors.

Faisal Hoque at Fast Company took a much more detailed approach when highlighting what he considers the seven fundamentals of sustainable business growth. Key takeaways include everything from having an authentic purpose and cultivating a powerful brand to forging beneficial partnerships and relying on adaptive leadership. All of his pointers are likely to be salient but not in any specific order. The one thing so often overlooked by business leaders, however, is the experience of their own employees. That’s a big mistake.

Businesses cannot reasonably expect to achieve sustainable growth without the devoted support of their hired talent. One contributing author at Entrepreneur published an informative article describing how employee satisfaction affects the bottom line. According to her, “if a business has engaged employees, satisfied customers will follow.” Though it seems awfully simplistic at first, it couldn’t be a more compelling truth. Businesses are at their core human-centered. Why, then, should businesses ignore or neglect the human experience when it comes to employees versus customers? Businesses that prioritize employee happiness are also less likely to face litigation, explain the expert Red Bank, NJ Worker’s Compensation Attorneys at GABL.

Last year, Forbes contributor Shep Hyken promoted a Gallup survey suggesting that engaged employees contributed to improved customer relationships and a 20 percent sales increase. That’s a significant impact. Shep also emphasizes the value of creating a fun work environment. In other words, he understands that the physicality and the community aspects of an office are central to a thriving business. He isn’t the first one to propose such an idea, though.

Another Forbes contributor, Jacob Morgan, revealed how the physical workspace affects the employee experience almost three years ago. He proposed all sorts of ideas that might seem unconventional for those skeptical about optimizing the employee experience. Of course, when it comes to the physical aesthetic, the devil is in the details. Patricia Davis Brown at Dig This Design pitched five tips for improving office space that are relatively easy to accomplish. Other perks to consider are on-site ice vending machines and/or fully-stocked kitchens. Employees are very likely to appreciate convenient access to food and beverages.

For those who still remain skeptical, contributing writer, Marcus DiNitto at Biz Journals, itemized how the right office design can maximize productivity. He explains how worker preferences can vary based on generational demographics and why one size does not fit all. Talent acquisition and retention can even be affected by the office design. Clearly, businesses shouldn’t expect to succeed unless they think carefully about the employee experience, including the office space. The data presented combined with the possible outcomes should be enough to provoke some serious consideration. Given how competitive the global marketplace has become, most businesses probably can’t afford to disregard these ideas.

Access to capital can be an important factor enabling businesses to make these long-term investments in their culture and workforce, according to Pacific Business Lending, a business loan agency in Corvallis, OR. Building relationships with a strong financing partner that understands your business and how to drive sustainable growth takes time, but is well worth the investment.

Adam Torkildson