Bringing Blue Zone Thinking to your Office Environment
Friday 13th (Workplace Wellbeing Day) is fast approaching, so here at McNulty Performance we thought we would share our approach to maintaining our personal wellbeing within a contained environment such as our daily office space. Wellbeing “is for life” not just one day.
With regards to the architecture and culture of our office, it has been designed with Blue zone thinking in mind. And what is Blue Zone thinking I hear you ask?
Blue Zones are regarded as some of the healthiest nations in the world, these “Blue Zone” regions are incredible because the people there live not only longer, but better.
They have on record the largest percentage of people that live to 100 or more, the ageing population also remains active well into their 80 and 90s, and they typically do not suffer the same degenerative diseases that are most common in the industrialised world.
We at McNulty Performance are humbled to say that we have worked in, and have had first-hand experience of some of these regions, most notably the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica, where we worked, interacted with and researched the lifestyles of these bastions of health and wellbeing.
Blue Zone thinking has informed the architecture of our office environment and culture under the following 5 Pillars.
1. Natural Movement
Our office space is designed to encourage free open natural movement with standing desks where staff are encouraged to circulate daily and populate a different space regularly as they work. We hold a lot of walking meetings outdoors and it’s not unusual for staff members to leave their desks and go for a cycle during work. Natural movement is a key element of Blue Zone lifestyles.
2. Purpose & Belonging
In terms of recruitment of staff, we always try to find people who share our values and principles and feel they are connected to the company’s purpose and vision, in relation to helping others achieve their true potential – the Nicoyans call it plan de vida. Knowing why you wake up in the morning.
3. Eat Natural Foods
Here in our office space we always have a collection of natural heathy snacks available for both our staff and our clients who we interact with as we have learned that natural unprocessed food, fuels consistent energy and drives concentration and productivity levels daily. Blue zone eating habits revolve around natural unprocessed foods rich in color and nutrients.
4. Down Shift.
Stress is part of life and every office environment. Daily within our office we build in stress-busting activities such as little energiser and games to relieve tension and alter the energy in our office space.
Blue Zone centenarians have stress-relieving rituals built into their daily routines.
5. Family & Tribe
Here at McNulty Performance we always advocate family values and staff are encouraged to build strong connections and bonds with their family, through allowing staff members to take time off to be with family and friends. We are also respectful that our work does not encroach beyond the office hours and eat up valuable family and social time for our staff.
Having close and strong family connections with spouses, parents, grandparents, and grandchildren is a very common trait with Blue Zones centenarians.
Perhaps some of the above can inform or help direct you in building your daily workplace wellbeing routine.