La Petite Papeterie Française

Slow Office Manifesto

In a hurry? We are too. Let's slow down - fast.

Every one of us is exposed to the speed of modern-day life. In the world of business, this means:

Quickly getting to work, spending the day without managing to draw breath. Eating fast, thinking fast, going home fast; sleeping too little. Repeat. Expandable to-do lists, "due yesterday" of course, becoming multi-tasks, non-stop meetings, a surfeit of "priorities", information overload... STOP! Let's take a break!

Here, you have a rendezvous with another world of work entirely. Your office, your organisation, your job, occupies an important place in your life: we're inviting you to live it, rather than suffer it.

These moments spent thinking, writing, reading, drawing, organising, producing, all deserve their time. We have a name for that place and time: Slow Office.

Inspired by the Slow movement, Slow Office is a manifestation of the movement's principles regarding production and consumption.

By way of opposition to the fast food and agrifood business, the Slow movement was founded in the late 80s in Italy, from the pen of Carlo Petrini, a journalist, sociologist and food critic. It first concerned itself with food, inviting people to remain aware of the seasons, to take note of food miles, to develop knowledge about products and about the environment in which we live.

Theorised by the Englishman Alastair Fuad-Luke, Slow Design was founded in 2002 and offers a holistic approach to design. The well-being of users and the consideration of social, environmental, sustainability and contemplation factors, amongst others – numerous initiatives have resulted from it, inviting us all to explore a new sensorial pleasure.

As we considered everyday paper objects, it became clear to us that the functional office was becoming a privileged place where people should stop, breathe, enjoy, reflect, eliminate the shock caused by our hyper-activity, and slow down - fast.

But in order to slow down in the office, you need to appreciate your environment and tools.

"Living and thinking" Slow Office means taking the time to understand and control your own personal pace; it means being aware of the here and now so that you are able to accommodate all contingencies with serenity. In fact, what results is a functional work environment of beautiful materials, soft colours and inspiring items that will amaze you, your customers, your colleagues and partners.

But living in a Slow Office manner also means knowing how to receive. In a meeting or an appointment, go back to some principles of savoir-vivre. When we start a joint project, some details are paramount in order to facilitate and encourage a collaborative spirit and collective intelligence: a drink in a beautiful cup, something to write a few lines on nice paper with – to draw, sketch, share. And do it all again. With pleasure.

The art of living applies to the office. 

It's the art of office living.

Slow down, breathe, feel, create with pleasure and receive with generosity.

La Petite Papeterie Française team, Paris, April 2015.