“Slow Business”: the trend that allows you to “work better, not less”

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Have you heard of “slow business”? This trend that allows you to learn to love your work again, to take the time to focus on your projects and to take advantage of the human relationships you build with customers, suppliers and employees. This “Slow Business” trend wants to bring quality to work and a less stressful, more lively and qualitative professional life experience.

Slow business makes a lot of noise across the Atlantic and continues to gather new followers. For some, as burnout has become the new evil of the century, slow business can change the situation. More and more managers and employees are complaining about their excessive work rhythms, the stress and fatigue it causes.

Others argue that slow business is the revolution that will slow down the explosion of the next internet bubble. And with good reason, too many start-ups have only one password: “Growth” (growth). They tend to raise huge sums of money and hire with a vengeance to be the fastest or the first without even earning a penny in turnover.

In France, this trend is less widespread, but investors are gradually becoming happy with the “Slow Business” philosophy. It calms them down and ultimately gives project managers more chances for success and above all a chance for sustainability.

The goal of slow business is not to work less, but rather to learn to love your work more, to enjoy working and therefore to be extremely productive. The “Slow Business” approach is in contrast to the alternative we all know, namely to make work a hectic race: overtime, a continuous rhythm, lunches often in front of the screen, on the go. Finally, by spending your time running, you lose the satisfaction that comes with a job well done. Due to the hours that follow one another, without a break, lack of concentration and fatigue occurs and thus makes the desired productivity non-existent.

Did you know that by working nine hours a day without a break, our minds are actually only focused for about 5.5 hours?

Find out what slow business is and how it intends to revolutionize the way we live our work.

The main characteristics of slow business

  • Man is more thoughtful and is at the center of business. In “slow business”, employees are first and foremost individuals in their own right. The employees ‘title and job description thus reflect the employees’ specific, sometimes unique, competencies and not systematically a standardized standard, an often incomprehensible label.

  • Personal life, comfort and rest are preferred to provide more peace of mind, peace of mind and well-being, thus quickly regaining a boost of energy, allowing increased concentration in the workplace. Some companies have created rest or nap places, and the benefits of team productivity have multiplied rapidly.

  • Human relationships are less impersonal and more civilized. Doing “business” should no longer mean being inhuman under the pretext that “business is business”.

  • Optimism and joy are crucial and must be cultivated. Why should we spend most of our time without enjoying, liking the past hours and waiting for the end of the day, and all of life?

However, beware of received ideas.

What “slow business” is not

  • Slow business should not be literally translated as “slow”. Speed, efficiency and spontaneity are very useful with the “Slow Business” philosophy. It is not the speed that is fought by this movement, it is the hectic race that often refers quality to the background: the quality of life, but also the quality of the work.

  • Slow business is absolutely no excuse to provide low quality services to the customer.

  • It is not a simple development. It is a massive cultural change to implement.

  • It is not a refuge for those who do not like their work. It is an opportunity to apply more humanity to all our daily actions.


One of the first companies in the United States to implement slow business is without a doubt Basecamp. Its founder, Jason Fried, sums up his strategy in one sentence: “Grow slowly, stay small.The company was founded in 1999 and has deliberately remained on a human scale. 43 employees in total and yet they realize hundreds of millions of revenue each year.

Another US company known for its slow business use: Steals.com, a competitor to Groupon, which has been self-financing since its inception. The founders voluntarily denied all bank loans and investments and grew at their own pace. They are now 82 employees.

In France, slow business is still very rare, but we hear more often about well-being and “Happiness at work”. More and more companies are proudly claiming their ranking in “Great Place to Work”. Some large groups have even recently hired their first CHO (Chief Happiness Officer).

French companies are thus gradually becoming aware that the state of mind and well-being of their employees is a key and crucial factor in improving their productivity. Wellness favors creativity, satisfied employees end up becoming more autonomous, proactive and utilizing their hidden skills for the benefit of their businesses. They are also less ill, less absent and more loyal to their employers.

While we are waiting for a massive spread of slow business in France, let’s start by enjoying the opportunities we have to meet other people professionally and smile more, we will be better off and the difficulty of certain tasks will be reduced.

Thomas ThelliezThomas Thelliez is the co-founder and CTO of Jooxter.com. Former founder and CEO of Eenox, he was a former software architect and professor of artificial intelligence (AI) before starting his career as an engineer in Brussels, Paris and Lille.

He shares his experiences creating digital products on his blog Rocket Bootstrapper and on social networks in particular Twitter and LinkedIn.

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