How is it that Germans get the same amount of work done, while taking more vacation time throughout the year? You can find the answer around your company’s coffee machine.
On average, Germans work around 1,436 hours per year. Americans, on the other hand, work 1,804 hours per year. Yet studies have shown Germans get roughly the same amount of work done.
How is that possible? Americans may be at the office longer, but they’re not working longer. In other words, Americans spend more time socializing at work. Meanwhile, Germans socialize less, and they tend to head straight for the door once their work is completed.
One place where this is most noticeable: the coffee machine. Research has shown that in the U.S. it’s normal to see several co-workers huddled around the coffee pot chatting while sipping their joe. In Germany, the office watering hole is less of a hang out.
Of course there’s some good in the American way — the workday is more relaxed.
Vacations are a must
It could be argued that Germans need to get more out of the normal workday because, by law, they have fewer of them.
Germans get six weeks of federally mandated vacation time every year.
And therein lies a huge difference: Americans tend to view vacation time as a bonus — something they can take if they can get away from the office. Germans view it as a necessary aspect of life and know its coming — and thus may feel the need to get their work done despite it.
Which workplace do you think would suit you best — the American or the German? Share your opinions in the Comments Box below.