holistic design is “an approach that emphasises the functional relationship between the various building parts and the facility as a whole. The goal is to create spaces that enrich the quality of the environment and the lives of those who use the building.”
According to the Dictionary of Construction holistic design is “an approach that emphasises the functional relationship between the various building parts and the facility as a whole. The goal is to create spaces that enrich the quality of the environment and the lives of those who use the building.”
In an office-setting employees are expected to execute their work to the best of their ability. However, often the emotional or spiritual well-being of employees is simply ignored or in extreme cases, at jeopardy.
Holistic design incorporates the space and the people working in the space, to harmonise with one another and create a contented and positive atmosphere. When people walk into an encouraging and welcoming environment they will automatically feel at ease.
Consequently, as the feeling of comfort increases, the workspace as a whole will become inviting and result in people wanting to be in that space. Environments which promote positive emotions encourage and enable people to do their best work. Conversely, negative emotions can have an adverse effect on the company’s overall performance.
Staff and Business Functionality
The proverb, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link,” should be used as a starting point for businesses. It is crucial to recognise the importance of incorporating all employees in the workspace and ensuring employee satisfaction and well-being. Holistic design ensures that the design and layout of the workspace benefits the business and the teams or individuals executing the work.
Each workspace is unique and suited to the business it represents. As a result, the requirements and structure of the business model need to be known and understood. For example, in offices where teamwork is the norm it will be beneficial to remove divisions in order to create an open and collaborative working space.
Designers and businesses need to be versatile in creating spaces that can help people connect on a one-on-one basis without any distractions, as well as spaces where they can connect with a group.
The design of spaces can be positively affected through the materials, textures, colours, lighting and views. There are health-related benefits of naturally-lit environments and as a result architects are working to create spaces which incorporate as much natural light as possible. Additionally, spaces are being designed to incorporate views from outside as this has been proven to improve the atmosphere in a working environment.
The emotional and physical well-being of employees is not only affected by those around them but also the working environment. Designers and architects are turning the attention of businesses to the importance of holistic design and the beneficial results it can have on business’ overall performance.