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Which is best, the German work model versus the American model:

By Listen65 ·
Having worked alongside both Germans and Americans in both German and American corporations, I have seen the polarized differences in work life models.

The Germans , and of course this is a generalisation, come into work exactly on time do exactly their 37.5 hours a week and work 100% of that time. Including, of course, taking their allowable breaks. They take ALL of their 6 weeks + holidays without any guilt.

The Americans, on the other hand, (again a generalization and from my current experience) work under a completely different model. It appears to me that Americans marry into their work. Work becomes bound into their life. i.e. they may take a meeting from home at 7:00am, then take the kids to school, then do some shopping, then come into the office. Its work, but at the same time, it?s a social life. Then either take a long lunch or no lunch at-all. This goes on throughout the day but when they get home they continue to take work calls login to check systems and read email etc. In essence work and home-life become one. Then when the 10 days vacation comes along, there is a guilt attached to taking it.

Both the American and German economies have and are very successful, but which is best? Should there be a happy medium? Should we separate or marry into our employment?

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Look in the middle!

by Don Ticulate In reply to Which is best, the German ...

The UK work model.

Much like the German but with just a few added American post work behaviors. There is no guilt with taking any holidays.

Edit - TYPO, these things happen!

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"There is no guild with taking any holidays."...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Look in the middle!

What! You mean you don't wear 'BLING' ???

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I'm an American of German descent

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to Which is best, the German ...

I have the best of both worlds.

German companies tend to have more loyalty to their employees than American companies as well, in exchange, they tend to have high expectations of their employees while the employees are on site.

They, however have a low tolerance for anything disrupting the work day.

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We in the USA have been turned into a nation of workaholics

by Big Ole Jack In reply to Which is best, the German ...

because corporations have instilled fear into the lowly employees that their lives revolve around their work and must be available 24/7/365. The guilt of taking vacations stems from the fear of coming back and having a pile of backed up work to catch up on and this will only serve to create a bad employee review if it's not completed immediately, resulting in a declined salary increase or warnings from the nazis in HR about "poor work performance" and other BS they come up with. I've been through this stupidity before and did have guilt when I needed to go on vacation. There will always be tons of work, and I was appaled at the audacity of the company when they asked me to cancel my planned vacation, which they said they'll reimburse me for if I stayed to finish the project. Screw them, because I was entitled to my vacation and needed a break from the stress and madness of office politics. It just boils my blood when companies arrogantly propose paying an employee and asking him/her to cancel a well needed vacation. More people should stand up against this crap and give a big collective middle finger to the corporate jerks who try to convice employees to cancel their well deserved paid vacations. Is it any wonder that American workers are stressed and overly angry about their jobs because their jobs have taken over their social lives and prevent them from spending much needed time with family?

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I have to agree...

by Listen65 In reply to We in the USA have been t ...

I see this a lot with my American work colleagues. There is certainly a different work ethic. One certainly bending towards advantage to the employer rather that the employee. I wonder is it related to the laws governing employee protection. Certainly in Europe employees are protected mush more and have more rights.

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Don't forget the back-biters...

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to We in the USA have been t ...

Another reason I am sure that vacations are avoided is the fact that it seems to be a great time for management to dig into your business, backbiters to badmouth you, and layoffs to occur.

I've seen companies layoff employees while they were on vacation.

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I've heard of people getting fired right after they come back from vacation

by Big Ole Jack In reply to Don't forget the back-bit ...

and this kind of cuthroat corporate crap is what's creating the paranoia and guilt of taking vacations. Before I spun off my own business, I took on a "screw you, go ahead and make my day by firing me" attitude because I've been subjected to so much corporate bullsh*t that I've become desensitized to it and I didn't give a rat's behind anymore. I knew I could do little to change such stupidity and the policies would burn me one way or another. I used to be afraid of termination, but what doesn't kill me only made me stronger. I envy the European work model where family time and social lives are valued, unlike here in the USA where corporate greed has permeated it's disgusting claws into the personal lives of lowly employees.

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I got pushed into the outsourcing group of a company...

by Locrian_Lyric In reply to I've heard of people gett ...

To see management salivating over the prospect of letting the people go was disgusting, PLUS, people were buying houses, cars, getting ready to have kids, et cetera, and they GAVE NO WARNING.

I actually celebrated when that contract ended.

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The American dream is a big lie and myth

by Big Ole Jack In reply to I got pushed into the out ...

There may have been an "American Dream" 40 or 50 years ago, but today, one cannot rely on any given corporation to build a career. Buying a new home is now a big risk, buying a new car is a risk, and having kids is another risk that creates stress if the parent(s) are suddenly out of a job.

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I worked for a British company

by bdmore In reply to Which is best, the German ...

in one of their American branches. One big difference that I've noticed between the 2 cultures is that when there is problems, Americans are more inclined to look for someone to blame, and the only solution seems to always be putting more pressure on the individual to not make mistakes. While the Brits tends to looks more into possible procedural flaws and how to make them more human error proof.

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