You could be forgiven for thinking that Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is all about work. Afterall, they have some of the highest levels of productivity in the world, with unemployment rates at a record low of just 4.1%. However, it’s not all work and no play, indeed the Germans have one of the most relaxed attitudes to taking time off. Research by the TUC found that Germans take twice as many sick days per year as UK workers. In addition, a study commissioned by Opodo.co.uk reported 21% of UK employees feel that taking extended leave could make them less employable, in contrast to 60% of those in Germany who believe it could help their career prospects!
Thinking of working in Germany? It’s essential you learn the office lingo, starting with these five popular phrases…
- Mahlzeit = Mall-zayt; a composite of the German words for ‘meal’ and ‘time’ is a standard workplace greeting and reveals a great deal about German working culture
- Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung = the composite of the German words for ‘work’ and ‘inability’ and ‘certificate’, aka a sick day!
- Erst die Arbeit, dann das Vergnügen! = ‘first work, then pleasure’
- Feierabenbier = ‘party’ and ‘evening’ and ‘beer’. Like Malzheit, it marks a clean break between work and play
- Brückentage = ‘bridge days’ that you take off around Bank holidays