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Poles think that Germans are the hardest working in Europe...


bullfrog 6 | 603
14 Jun 2012 #1
and that Poland is the most corrupt country in Europe

So far, so good... In fact, out of 8 European countries surveyed, all thought Germans were the hardest working bar one..

That country is Greece, and who do they think are the hardest working? Themselves!! That's no joke :

ONCE in a while an opinion poll throws up an insight that is very revealing; yesterday it was the Pew Global survey of European countries. Among the usual questions about attitudes to the euro and the European Union, people in eight nations (Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain) were asked which country in the European Union is the hardest-working. The Greeks ignored the obvious answer (Germany) and instead nominated themselves. (The other seven nations all plumped for Germany, as the table above shows.) Yet Greek perception is not quite as misaligned with reality as it seems.

economist/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/05/greeks-say-they-are-hardest-working-european-nation

According to the OECD, the Greeks work indeed the most in Europe (ca 2,100 hours per year vs less than 2,000 elsewhere.). But anyone who has been to Greece knows that one hour's work over there is not the same as in Germany or France..
MarcinD 4 | 135
14 Jun 2012 #2
Hard work =/= Efficient work or more precisely, Hours Worked < Work Done

It probably takes 3 Greeks to do the job of 1 German
southern 75 | 7,096
14 Jun 2012 #3
In Greece it is mostly about having the wrong persons in the wrong positions and the rest refusing to help.
Lyzko
14 Jun 2012 #4
While the Germans have a deserved reputation for their extreme dilligence, e.g. their almost superhuman disciplined "clean-up" of their bombed out country following WWII, their insistence that ONLY German efficiency can solve European financial woes, smacks more of arrogance than anything else in my view:-)

It's as unhelpful a stereotype to caricature Germany as the "sick man" of Europe as regards national unemployment (while conversely driving home the myth that they're the "engine" of Europe's economy) as it is to generalize about Polish sloth and infrastructural failure. Name calling of any sort doesn't get the job done!

By the way, Germans have more PAID holidays as well as time off, along with medical coverage, than any other European country, except perhaps the French and the Danes^^ So much for working hard (...or hardly workingLOL)

Tja, Muessiggang ist aller Laster Anfang:-)

....and the Swiss aren't too far behind, are they Bullfrog?
Meathead 5 | 470
15 Jun 2012 #5
If I had to live in Europe I'd have a tough time choosing between the Swiss or Greeks. No I wouldn't live in Germany.
OP bullfrog 6 | 603
15 Jun 2012 #6
and the Swiss aren't too far behind, are they Bullfrog?

I'm not sure what you mean.. Yes, the Swiss are hard and efficient workers, not necessirally by the amount of times spent at work (only 4 weeks holidays compulsory, the Swiss themselves rejected recently a proposal which wanted to give 6 weeks' holiday to everyone), but by their effectiveness. It is also, and that is not very well know, one of the most industrialised country in Europe, on par with Germany, and far more industrialised than the UK or France..
MarcinD 4 | 135
15 Jun 2012 #7
By the way, Germans have more PAID holidays as well as time off, along with medical coverage, than any other European country, except perhaps the French and the Danes^^ So much for working hard (...or hardly workingLOL)

Tja, Muessiggang ist aller Laster Anfang:-)

Here's the thing

When they are working, their output is at an impressive level. So you rather hire two individuals (allow one to vacation but work hard when ''on the clock'') versus hire one person but have them slug around/waste hours. By doing so you eliminate job turnover (cost of benefits, job training, work atmosphere moral) & unemployment.

It doesn't matter how long you work but the amount of production you output at the end of the day.
PlasticPole 7 | 2,649
15 Jun 2012 #8
Maybe it should read "Germans are the fastest workers in Europe?"
Wroclaw Boy
15 Jun 2012 #9
all thought Germans were the hardest working bar one..

Its not really hard work associated, its efficiency from the very top of government right down to private individuals, Germany works very well indeed. They have a good balance between socialism and capitalism.

youtube.com/watch?v=wCQ4oBcuTBY
sascha 1 | 826
15 Jun 2012 #10
Germans have more PAID holidays as well as time off, along with medical coverage, than any other European country

using that argument, it seems that it is even more amazing how german are 'getting the job done' if they have that much holidays/free time ;)
OP bullfrog 6 | 603
15 Jun 2012 #11
Germany works very well indeed. They have a good balance between socialism and capitalism.

Indeed, but many dream to go and live in France. There is a German saying which goes " gluecklich wie Gott in Frankreich" eg.. happy like God in France..
southern 75 | 7,096
15 Jun 2012 #12
It is Prussian discipline and protestant ethics.
WielkiPolak 58 | 1,034
15 Jun 2012 #13
Interesting that Polish do not consider themselves to be hard working. As for corruption, looking at what is going on in some other countries, Poland is absolutely not the most corrupt, though there is corruption in it, of course.
Lyzko
15 Jun 2012 #14
Not at all, Herr Sascha!

As I've worked BOTH in the BRD as well as the US, I can safely say that if we here in the States, started as little as an hour earlier, i.e. at 7:30am, cut the bullshit morning 'coffee break' time (having "efficiently" already breakfasted heartily at home!!), took a full PAID hour lunch in the company cantine (closing the office until mealtime is over, digestion etc...) accross the board, not only the execs. and then, refreshed, workied STRAIGHT through a productive afternnoon until 5pm, we'd be just as efficient as any German team.

Fact is, when it's quitting time in most American offices here in United States, most employees have basically goofed off half the day, appearing to be efficient, while in truth, it's entirely the opposite. Then, many "work late":-)) he-he. Really?? Actually, they're gaming, texting or just f******g off.

In Germany on the other hand, when someone calls out 'FEIERABEND!', man oh man, you really do want to celebrate the evening off for having toiled assiduously throughout the day.

Bullfrog,

ich habe lediglich von vollbezahlten Urlaubstagen gesprochen! I was speaking solely of paid up vacation days accumulated throughout the year.

Indeed, noone has denied that the Swiss and the Germans work 'hard', the question is, what does that actually mean? To me, 'hard' may mean working in fact INefficiently by not planning properly, spending extra time on redoing what ought to have been done correctly and then billing unnecesary hours to the company which is nothing short of sheer wasteful:-))

Another matter is punctuality. Having never worked in Poland, I can't compare Polish with German work ethics from personal experience. I can attest however to the fact that what Americans consider "punctual", such as arriving half-an-hour early for an appointment etc.., is deemed wasteful and overcompensatory for Germans. In the Federal Republic, we arrived at work, for example, at 8am, not moment before or a second after, went right to our desks/cubicles, closed the door and worked until lunchtime, occasionally leaving our offices for a meeting etc..

My first job interview in Stuttgart, I was so concerned with being late, I came at 8:30 for a 9am appoitment with the HR manager. When the secretary announced I was early as I didn't want to 'miss' my appointment, the German manager's response was simply, "Herr Pajdo! Hier fanegen wir puenktlich an!" = Mr Pajdo, around here we start work on time!

What i believed to be a sign of interest appeared to the German as overzealous brown nosing and nervousness.
Sebastian 6 | 108
16 Jun 2012 #15
I agree that Germans are the hardest working in Europe. Not only Germans, but Nordic countries, Netherlands, Switzerland, have good work ethic. But they aren't only hard working, they are efficient. I really admire Germany, Switzerland and the Nordic countries. Some of the best places and least corrupt countries in the world, with the best standard of living and infrastructure. Amazing countries.

Greeks may work the longest hours in the EU, but that doesn't mean they are efficient. I know Greeks in my school who have relatives in Greece, and they told me that half of their shifts, they smoke a lot, have many coffee breaks, a nap, and leave work early. So in an 8 hour shift, its more like 4 hours of work and 4 hours of play. They aren't hard working and efficient. But I think its Bullshit that Poles think Poland is the most corrupt. Yes, it has problems, but it is nowhere near as corrupt as Greece or Italy. Don't even get me started with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
p3undone 8 | 1,135
16 Jun 2012 #16
Lyzco,I consider punctual on time,I myself may show up 15 mins. early,because I'd rather be early than late,plus planning this way gives you

some leeway.I don't consider it wasteful as much as cautious.Nothing inefficient about it,You can't count on anything in life.
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Jun 2012 #17
Germanic folks are very intense while working they have a pit bull tension.Americans not so they are obviously more relaxed.Also hierarchy is big in Germany everyone is scared.Germans have excellent management and fear inducing techniques.It is not commarderie style like in USA.In Greece on the other hand you always feel like a sucker when you work hard because you see the others sitting and goofing around while making fun of the ones who work hard.
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #18
This hierarchical, i.e. top-down, management style in Germany is also shared by the French as well as the Italians. The Spanish less so, the Dutch and ths Nordics almost never. I found Poles rather formal in work relationships, NEVER chummy with (foreign) strangers, but not necessarily in a strict sense hierarchical either!

Incidentally, I didn't mean to come off as though I were somehow "praising" German work habits:-) Indeed, this rigid caste system between white-collar employees and top management can be quite stultifying at worst. Precisely this fear mentality, not to mention often cruel internal harrassment tactics (called in German "Mobbing") is often simply SICK and scarcely worth emulating!! Excoriating a worker in front of other staff et al. by picking them apart and dissecting only their faults is the height of both barbarity, not to mention plain psychological stupidty, read, primitive social intelligence. Then again, Germans much more than the Poles, are a most tribal people. The secret to their tremendous historical and present success rests unfortunately on a mountain of pain.

No, for me, somewhere between the Greeks and the Scandinavians is just right for me; the golden meanLOL
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Jun 2012 #19
What is worthwhile mentioning is that after a while in Germany you may like this fear and sadism and actually seek for it.It is the Herr-Knecht relationship reaching full potential among free barbarians like Germans who had never any Roman rule.
4 eigner 2 | 831
16 Jun 2012 #20
Poles think that Germans are the hardest working in Europe...

the most efficient working people in Europe, for sure.
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #21
Vier Eigner and Southern, I think the point here is rather that it's not who works the hardest, or even the most efficiently (effektiv), but whose work product remains the best, despite the method used to achieve it.

In this regard, I find the Americans a tad more space giving. If the typical US boss tells someone who do a job, typically they don't care HOW it gets done, only that it get done right:-) When working with Germans, though the language barrier was nonexistant for me, the culture barrier often precluded a smooth working environment. I'd often do the job MY way, while following all the guidelines, yet not the way my supervisor wanted it executed.

This often led to some heated verbal altercations!

I might add that at various US-based firms throughout Western Europe, one of which I briefly worked for near Stuttgart, everybody was encouraged to use English, not the target languge, e.g. French or German, even for internal correspondence among the German staff! I charactaristically opted for German. When asked why by my German manager, I replied that I had this aversion to having to subject both my subordinates as well as my bosses to a steady stream of baby talk!

Rather than being fired or even censured, typically enough, the Germans appreciated my honesty and (UNcharachtaristically) swallowed theorn prideLOL

I might add that at various US-based firms throughout Western Europe, one of which I briefly worked for near Stuttgart, everybody was encouraged to use English, not the target languge, e.g. French or German, even for internal correspondence among the German staff! I charactaristically opted for German rather than English.. When asked why by my German manager, I replied that I had this aversion to having to subject both my subordinates as well as my bosses to a steady stream of baby talk!

Rather than being fired or even censured, typically enough, the Germans appreciated my honesty and (UNcharachtaristically) swallowed their prideLOL

I take it, 4eigner, you're NOT a fan of Chancellor Merkel??? Frankly, I think many Poles'd like to tell Messrs. Tusk and President what's his face to go take a flying leap!

Am curious as to whether Sascha, 4 eigner, BratwurstBoy or any other German PF posters find it odd that despite Germany's reputation for hard work, she still hasn't managed to keep down her unemployment.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
16 Jun 2012 #22
They will tell you it's because of the Turks
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #23
Care to elaborate a little? I have a long wire, he-he:-))
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
16 Jun 2012 #24
I find it surprising that so many people cofuse economic efficiency of a country's economy with individuals being (or not being) hard working there... Generally the richer a country is, the more efficience its economy is... it is not any index of hard-working (ness). In 3rd world countries people often have to make more effort to provide clean water for their children than typical developed country employee is making over the whole working day.
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Jun 2012 #25
It has to do mostly with the IQ and historical tradition.High IQ and high organizational capability coming from this as Germanics display attracts inevitably investments and the invested capital increases work productivity and salaries.It is a vicious circle.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,671
16 Jun 2012 #26
It has to do mostly with the IQ and historical tradition

maybe but continuing from Grzegorz's point, it has also to do with geography, infrastructure and climate.
For example if Greek people rushed about in 40 degree heat like Northern Europeans do they would be dead in no time..
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #27
Having ACCESS to materials is finally more important than someone's inherent learning apparatus, Southern. Do you have the temerity to imply that Germanic peoples have a higher intelligence quotient than black Africans, ergo, they have the enviable infrastructure and have garnered the achievements that they have merely by dint of their intellect??? Not only is that suspect and borderline racist, it plays right into the hands of the Shockley-Jensen fans who supported the latter's thesis that black people allegedly had smaller brain capacity than Caucasians ad nauseum!!

No, the reasons for certain countries having become 3rd world while others rose to the developed nations are far more complex in nature. For instance, the ancient kingdoms of Chaldea, Egypt and Mesopotamia were cradles of civilization, wealth and a fabulous infrastructure long before the Nordics learned to use toilet paper ot eat with utensils. Germany a thousand years ago was in Neanderthal state compared with the contemporary civilizations of China or India, for example.

To be sure, climate can certainly influence behavior as well as productivity, cf. Brazil with Sweden, for instance. Does lead to the fallacy that Brazilians are "dumber" than Swedes??! Of course not.
southern 75 | 7,096
16 Jun 2012 #28
Climate plays indirectly a role by imposing a certain body phenotype.The Germanic body is fit for manual work because it was formed to resist to harsh cold climates.Mediteraneans have more soft bodies due to softness of climate.Maybe climate influences the ethics as well so we can say Mediteraneans have weaker ethics and morals.We also tend to be easier delighted and easier dissappointed that is more temperamentful than cold phlegmatic Germanics.For sure Germanics are superior in every matter except taste and art.
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #29
Ahhem, Mr. Club Med., I'd take gentle issue with that last crack in the light of Duerer, Gruenewald, Cranach, Holbein, Witz, Beethoven, Goethe, Brahms, Wagner etc... Their art is among the sublimest expression of same the Occident knows, (and not be occident eitherLOL)!

Be wary of generalizations. Back to the topic:-) Germans are often noted for their almost ferocious "honesty". If honesty means making the recepient on the other end of some German venting their spleen the hopes of strengthening the character, then such honesty is overrated. I'll take a mild dose thrown in of public relations bull any day.
Lyzko
17 Jun 2012 #30
According to the Greeks of late, the Germans may not necessarily be the hardest working in Europe, but they be the most austere, if Mrs. Merkel's obdurate refusal to extend credit to the struggling fledgling government in Athens is any indicator:-))


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