It would be completely unfair to have come to a place on business visit and to end up without any word on the new work culture!
In Germany, as in India, people come to work; and that’s where the similarity stops! No rigid timings, no defined work place (this is one concept I liked more in India), no hurrying up, no strict age defined hierarchy and luckily no dress code! I’ve heard a lot about flexi timings in office when I was at offshore but such a thing cannot happen without some trust on your employees to get the work done. Something that is inherently visible in the work culture here.
In fact there are stark contrast to way in which people lead their life; nobody gets told to get their bus tickets, no one laughs when you drive your strange looking tri-wheeler right next to the sleek looking Audi, every one has a time to say ‘Hi’ to even strangers, people stick to beautiful looking house with a wonderful garden of their own, almost everyone seems (of course this is just an outward measure) content with their life and this place is pedestrian’s heaven. Perhaps this is more applicable for the country side where I am staying. Perhaps things are similar in villages of my land too (I hope). I am not the best judge there!
I believe that when left on their own and treated as just another responsible adult people tend to bring out their true nature. It could be good or bad but is definitely great than always having someone to watch your back and ‘guiding’ your work in a way they want – perhaps an impact of seeing too many policies and rules at offshore!
My work is definitely different too. For a change it doesn’t involve too much coding (as of now). Client interfacing was something that had been in my list of wishes at work for the past few years and I am glad I earned it at last. It is something I preferred, but I am somehow taking more time than wanted to grasp the whole of the knowledge quotient. Something undesirable under the given circumstance!
But apart from these stark contrasts it is work as usual. Though people here try to adopt to the new culture I can see some part of them still adhering to their own beliefs and customs – which is perhaps why my tradition is so incredibly great! I still notice the way in which an Indian treats a colleague and feel no big difference. I think it is really true after all – in the end we only carry what we really are!