While there are a lot of countries that would make a great home, or a great place to start a business in or just to travel to (we are globetrotters at heart), today we’re going to be talking about what we believe are the main perks of living in Germany.
This is not an exhaustive list, but it rather comes in as a set of reasons from a group of people that have learned to love life in Germany as it is.
1. Quality of life
Quality of life in Germany is one of the highest-rated ones in the world. According to an index developed by United Nations, Germany ranks in 4th place worldwide when it comes to this indicator.
Expats rank it in 15th place according to a ranking created by the Blacktower Financial Management Group.
All of these roughly translate into good jobs, a clean environment, low crime rates, lots of leisure time and cultural attractions, good transport links, affordable living, and quality of life.
There is a high regard for personal space and personal time. When you leave the office, work stays behind, and nobody from work contacts you after work hours, definitely not during the weekend.
Major bonus: when you go on vacation, which is on average 20 days/year (though 25-30 days is common practice), your team will act as if you cannot be reached by anything or anyone.
Extra bonus: multiple companies in Germany are considering implementing a 4-day workweek. Winning. Germany is already home to one of the shortest average working weeks in Europe. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the average working week is 34.2 hours. According to a Forsa survey, 71 percent of people working in Germany would like to have the option to only work four days a week.
The police do a great job in securing citizens’ safety, there is a high regard for data protection and if someone is in distress (e.g. an unexpected health issue or harassment in public), the civilians are quick to respond.
The Global Peace Index 2021 ranks Germany in 16th place worldwide.
4. Parental leave
When it comes to parental leave, Germany is a country that developed a policy that really supports both parents. Both parents can have parental leave at the same time, taking care of their new child, for up to 3 years. The mother is protected and has her job secured until her return to the company or a similar position will be waiting for her.
Also, it is fairly cheap to raise a child: there is parental leave allowance, child allowance, federal-state allowance, plenty of opportunities to buy second-hand in a Flohmarkt (second-hand clothing, toys, and appliances for children), and really affordable education.
5. Works council (Betriebsrat)
This is an organizational body in big companies, composed of employees, representing, and protecting the interests of the employees; they liaise between employees and the company, represented by HR.
So at all times, you will have an organization representing your best interest in front of the company you’re working for, being able to drive any necessary change inside the company.
Social matters for which the works council has a codetermination right are:
- Company rules: e.g. code of conduct, smoking bans, dress codes, name tags
- Beginning and end of the daily working hours including breaks
- Temporary reduction or extension of working hours, e.g. overtime
- Establishing general policies on holiday
- Introduction and application of technical equipment and software
Life is pretty predictable; you can schedule a meeting with a friend 3 weeks from now and it will happen.
German people enjoy structure and predictability and therefore adopt it in everyday life as well. Reliability is a term that is often used to describe the German people. You can read a few testimonials from the expat community from Germany right here.
Grocery shops have fruit and flower stands in front of their shops, unsupervised, trusting citizens to be fair and not steal.
There are places and fields where you can pick flowers, potatoes, and pumpkins, unsupervised, and there is a trust box, where you leave the appropriate amount of money. This also makes a great weekend activity. You can find a list of locations where you can pick your own fruit or veggies here.
You can Google your rights and obligations, there is full transparency in many aspects of life about legal rights. Only downside: most of them are in German.
When it comes to transparency, Germany ranked in the 10th position in 2021, according to a top assessment by Transparency International.
9. Politics does not come into your house
Germany is ranked as the 9th most politically stable country, according to a top by US News. However, if your interests don’t lie anywhere in this area, there is no pressure.
10. Center of everything
Politics, economy, research, and technology, first responders in times of crisis – Europe turns to Germany first in these situations, and geographical – 4h to Prague, Zurich, Vienna, Berlin, the border with France respectively Italy.
11. The bar is always high
You will always be challenged to be at your best. Germany never sleeps and is no country for the weak, but for those who are comfortable being surrounded by ambition and discipline.
Here are our reasons. What are yours?