So I have been working in this German tech firm and it’s my second job in a company of the same field. There have been a lot of differences, but I also notice a lot of similarities.
On a social level, I think people may be closer to their colleagues here. Or, at least the colleagues they work most closely with. I go to the park to play music and slackline with my boss. Afterwards we hit the bars and play pool / kicker (*foosball – ‘kicker’ is a very big thing here, and it’s a lot of fun. Comparatively I pretty much suck, but slowly improving…)
On a business level everything is more or less similar. I find that everyone works very, very efficiently. People are *incredibly* meticulous about recording the amount of time they work. Even my lead developer “boss,” who works on a year salary, keeps running timers in the background for the tasks he works on throughout the day to make sure he gets up to his 8 total daily hours.
The office is very cool and laid back. Casual dress. A game room with PS4 and kicker. A kitchen with coffees and fresh fruits. A fridge filled with sodas and colas and… beer! Yeah, beers at the office. On the last Thursday evening of every month there’s a pizza and beer event.. and they (we) all catch a buzz at the office. That’s a bit of a difference compared to US office culture, I’d say.
A couple of pictures. The train station I switch at every morning and the street that I work on in downtown Berlin.