How to take care of your employees (German style)

Like any young professional I used to change jobs almost as often as I change clothes. So although my graduation is only a year ago, I managed to serve three different employers so far already: one in the Netherlands and two in Germany. Before that I did internships in Egypt and Kuwait. This to illustrate that in my short professional life so far, I have become acquainted with quite a few companies already. This little piece of my blog I want to dedicate to the German employer, who seems to stop at nothing to keep his or her employees happy. I feel so very pampered these days, it’s unbelievable!

I started my career in Kuwait and Egypt. Being pampered in the Middle East means having a cleaning lady or man who also serves as some sort of waiter, bringing you food and drinks once in a while. Germany unfortunately knows no such luxury, but we can’t object to the possibility to stretch our legs every once in a while, I guess. The pampering in the Middle East (least of all the Netherlands) does not even get close to what I’m experiencing here though. Deutschland über alles!

Food and drinks are a big thing in Germany. I already related in a previous post how at the first day at my previous company my supervisors took me for a welcome lunch. Yesterday my new boss did that too. I don’t remember anyone else doing that, except for the big boss in Kuwait (which was awfully kind as well, considering his busy schedule). The new boss did more though: today he also invited some other new colleagues and myself for after-work-drinks. Two days in a row! The size of the new company is a little overwhelming, as I never worked in any company which had over 15 employees before, and now all of a sudden I have some 200 colleagues, but they’re really making an effort to make me feel at home.

Next to the welcome lunch the previous boss also offered free lunch every Thursday and as much Coca-Cola as one desires. Whoever thinks that is awfully kind should talk to friend X. working in Berlin, whose employer offers her two  meals every day. Say whaaaat?? She works in the food industry, but still. This is pampering 2.0, Germany! The new boss does not offer free lunches, but he does offer as much soft drinks and juices as I can handle. From Coca-Cola to all sorts of FritzCola flavours and countless juices to choose from, I feel I have hit the jackpot: huge refrigerators make sure there is always a cold drink of your choice available. After a certain time you can even have your daily beer. You thought this was enough pampering? Think again! Pampering literally extends all the way to the bathroom, where you will find deodorant, ladies utensils and hand crème at your disposal.

Did I mention the German obsession with table football before? I have even seen it written in one or two job advertisements: next to a salary, a lot of leave days, a transportation allowance and juices German companies also offer the possibility to practice your table football skills on a regular basis, as they’re fully equipped with these table football tables. And if you’re really, really lucky your company is taking part in the ProfiKarte scheme, which means you’ll get a public transportation card for all of Hamburg at a reduced rate. For comparison: I’m going to pay as much as I do now for my annual subscription of two zones, and I will be able to travel anywhere I want anytime I want. Receiving the ProfiKarte next month is soooo going to be the highlight of my month, I literally can’t wait for that!

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Photo credit: pristylesFlickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

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