The work culture in Frankfurt

work culture
Updated 2019-10-09 13:25

Some believe Frankfurt to be Germany's most cosmopolitan city. This is for a reason, as a large percentage of the citizens are indeed foreigners. Frankfurt has a prosperous economy, a great environment and is home to many multinational companies. Industries like media, advertising, and business daily employ a large number of motivated professionals. Additionally, the city's financial sector is one of the best in Europe, and more than 60,000 people work in banking institutions.

Therefore, one can say that Frankfurt does not offer a completely German environment, but a mixed one with American influences and with workers from all over the world.

Every work environment is a story to itself. Some general rules, however, apply everywhere and understanding the German way of working is a good step towards adapting. Germans have their own idea of work and flexibility is not one of them. Efficiency and good work-life balance, however, are a must and this is what makes Germans one of the most diligent people in Europe.

In Frankfurt's financial sector

Financial institutions have a strong multinational spirit, but firm traditions, just like Germany. Here, proper business attire is a must. Germans like to dress in dark and elegant suits with shirts and ties. Women can also wear suits, formal skirts, shirts that are not too colourful and a delicate piece of jewellery. Good shoes always give good impressions both for men and for women. While the people, in general, are pretty liberal for tattoos and piercings, showing them at a workplace, especially in the financial sector should never happen.

Work ethic comes first, and most of the employees identify with their workplace. Being productive and punctual are very well-respected traits. Financial companies are quite traditional, and that means that there is a strict hierarchy that needs to be respected. Manners in such situations mean showing appraisal and politeness, rather than emotional expression. Addressing people with their title (Herr/Frau and last name), or even adding a qualification like a doctor is a vital sign of respect.

Work-life balance in Frankfurt

Germans respect their work and even more so their rest. The typical workday in Germany is about 7-8 hours, and people rarely stay at work overtime. While today some financial institutions require working until the work is done, it is not the case for most. Holidays and leisure time are also a significant part of the work culture (workers in Germany have thirty days of vacation per year) and are organised well ahead. German companies protect their good workers as a part of their team through understanding their needs and requests. This is why changing many jobs is not considered a good practice, as most employers seek for loyal long term workers.

Being casual

Germans are not the most casual people in Europe, and making friendships with them takes time, dedication and patience. However, when that happens, they are very loyal and helpful. Work friendships are also quite rare, but often companies organise events to get to know their employees better. These events can be dinners, celebrations or even after-work drinks. Some more creative industries have a more relaxed approach and do not require very formal attire. This is also the case for many research institutions, where casual clothing is acceptable. Some large companies have the “casual Friday”policy, allowing most workers to wear something more comfortable.

Frankfurt specificities

Frankfurt is home to many international institutions that offer beautiful experiences for temporary or permanent positions. European Central Bank is one of the most prestigious places to work in the city. Workers claim that the work environment is relaxed and that as long as the job is done on time, no additional stress is being put on the staff. Most of the offices have young and friendly staff, and the overall management is always fair and professional. Like most German companies, however, decision making is a long process, and it is not easy to get to permanent positions.

Respecting the work environment is a must in every country. In Germany, that is what makes one adapted to the culture. Showing expertise and fair work in Frankfurt brings a lot of benefits, respect and great enjoyment.

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