Turn Your Business into a Blue Zone: Developing a Company with Longevity

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Over the past decade, the concept of ‘Blue Zones’ has gained immense popularity as a guide to healthy living. Blue Zones are areas of the world where people experience exceptional longevity – and their health has been attributed to shared characteristics including daily activity, a sense of purpose and community.

Health and wellness experts are now using the anthropological principles of Blue Zones to help people around the world lead healthier lives, but these ideas are just as beneficial when applied to business, as well. After all, a healthy workplace fosters employee engagement, and companies with engaged employees are more likely to thrive. Whether you’re in a coworking space in Shoreditch or a traditional London office space, here’s how to bring the lessons of the Blue Zones to your company, so you can build a lasting business that benefits workers.

The Broad Strokes of Blue Zones

Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan and Icaria, Greece have all been identified as Blue Zones. In these communities, people are known to live longer, healthier lives that are associated with consistent moderate physical activity, a mostly plant-based diet, low stress levels, a sense of meaning and spirituality and high levels of social and family engagement, among other characteristics. 

Putting the Principles into Practice

Of course, you can’t exactly force your employees to eat more broccoli,visit their grandmothers or meditate, but you can implement company policies that encompass the spirit of these principles.

First, you can encourage physical activity in your workplace, whether it’s by providing employees the option of standing desks or reminding people to take a break from their desks and walk around each hour.

To inspire a sense of purpose in your workplace, you can ensure that your business’s mission statement is up to date. Consult with your employees and give them a say in what your business stands for – their input and vision will help create more inclusivity.

Every business is bound to face a certain level of stress, but as an employer you can take action to mitigate it through your approach. Part of stress management in business has to do with your attitude: it’s important that you set a good example for your employees by remaining calm and diplomatic in difficult situations. The other aspect is more environmental: if you’re looking for a workspace, choose one like London coworking office The Brew, which marries productivity with a relaxed, casual atmosphere. If you’ve already got an office, spruce it up with greenery and keep the space clean and organised.

Boost the social aspects of your company by establishing weekly team time in which you grab a drink or a coffee and talk about life outside the office. You can even invite your employees’ significant others to these events to get to know their families and build a larger community around your company.

These gestures may seem small, but the ideas behind them can have a huge impact on communities, as demonstrated in the Blue Zones. Principles like physical activity, a sense of purpose and an emphasis on community can truly transform your company culture, strengthening your employees’ dedication and productivity and ultimately increasing the longevity of your business.

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