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Differences between working culture in Poland and Germany?

patrik 6 | 14
6 Mar 2013 #1
Are there people here who have experienced working in Poland and Germany? , what are the differences/challenges in the working culture you find?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
6 Mar 2013 #2
In Germany people usually have 1h not payed break. In Poland it's 30min of payed instead. That makes working hours in Germany 1h longer than in Poland.
Lenka 3 | 2,731
6 Mar 2013 #3
In Poland it's 30min of payed instead.

Employer pays you for 15 mins, the other half is free
pantsless 1 | 267
6 Mar 2013 #4
Kind of depends on a multitude of factors such as job, position and even location, doesn't it? How could you correlate the work culture of a Polish village mechanic to a German architect working in Munich?

I've worked in both countries and yes, there is a huge difference. In Poland half of your time is spent figuring out what somebody said, where those files are located, who got the email from the client and wondering who is not on vacation or sick leave this week. A lot of procrastination and slacking off (there are a lot of people who feel that working simply involves you physically being there) until the deadline is in two days and then everyone panics and starts.

I've yet to meet a 'manager' in Poland who actually knows how to manage, and many people who are in upper level positions got there only from a) being family/friends with someone even higher up b) whoring themselves out c) blackmail. Cronyism is rife, as is lying and avoiding responsoblity. I've found many professionals in Poland, in comparison to their Western peers, are incredibly provincial and altogether unprofessional and even ignorant of their jobs. I've met many 40 years old with various degrees and work experience who are totally clueless, yet for some reason other people don't see this and they live in some kind of esteemed bubble. Also, many people are paralyzed with fear when considered the aspect that they may be fired or when looking for a job. In the sense they act like children.

In addition, my observations have led me to believe that any kind of business success in Poland requires lying, deceit, theft and of course not paying employees, not paying taxes, and not paying invoices. Unfortunately, this attitude permeates even among low level employees, a de facto rat race. Unfortunately the worst are the nouveau rich businessmen who literally crawled out from some village somewhere, made a ton of money somehow and suddenly think they are walking gods.

On the other hand, Polish workers are more open and friendly with each other, as well as provide a lot of help in times of need and very often meet with each other outside of work. I have to say that is actually a huge huge plus. Germans are very professional and polite but they do put up a wall distancing themselves from you. Rarely I would say do colleagues from work ever turn to friends. The Polish way of doing things means you can either a) work your butt off and make no money or b) make a ton of money doing nothing. In Germany you pretty much have to work very hard no matter what.

So there you go, a few aspects to consider
6 Mar 2013 #5
In my experience having lived in Germany for a short stretch during the 90's, the German government allows for some of the most generous 'social benefits' of any European country, including Sweden! Indeed, Mrs. Merkel has tampered with certain hitherto sacred cows, e.g. union or labor rights etc.., nonetheless, Germany's unions favor the average working man far and above most other countries, certainly more than here in post-New Deal USA!

Workers at private companies I'm sure enjoy many of the same benefits workers do at Polish companies, although I could be wrong.

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