“I want to work fewer hours, with steady progress, ample time to rest, and more mental space to get meaningful work done.” We are slowly rediscovering a well-known secret: There’s more to life than work! The slow movement first began in the food world, stewarded by culinary writer Carlo Petrini, who was hoping to thwart the global expansion of fast food. In defiance of industrial food production, where cost and convenience prevail, slow food calls for local ingredients, sustainable practices, and, most notably, a return to eating for the joy of it because “tranquil material pleasure” is a powerful antidote to the “universal madness of ‘fast life.’” In Europe and around the Mediterranean slow work has a long history. Up until last year, it was illegal for French employees to eat lunch at their desks, out of concern that employees wouldn’t use their lunch breaks. Now American companies are catching on. A third of all U.S. companies plan to offer employees hybrid work options and greater flexibility around where to work. One of the unexpected consequences of the Covid 19 pandemic might be that we are rediscovering the pleasure of taking things slowly. Slow work invites us to honestly assess our priorities.

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