Feierabend: The Curious Way To Disconnect From German Workers

Disconnecting from work in times of pandemic is not always easy. This is why German workers apply this concept at the end of their day. 

Feierabend: the curious way to disconnect from German workers 

The arrival of the pandemic and teleworking in our lives has blurred the work environment of the staff. Disconnecting is increasingly difficult, despite the importance that rest has on productivity. To achieve this, German workers use the Feierabend philosophy - or, literally translated, “end of the working day” -. 

This concept consists of trying to completely disconnect from work once the working day is over. In this sense, many German workers decide to go for a walk or ride a bicycle after turning off their computers at home, emulating the times when they left the office and traveled home. “Stress and recovery go hand in hand. It's like a body rhythm,”explains a German worker. 

The origin of the Feirabend is not entirely clear, but it may be related to the industrial revolution. As Dr Caroline Rothauge from the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt explains, in the context of industrialization, questions about how to manage daily time became vital for an increasing number of people, due to the new types of jobs and changing working conditions. Factory workers and commercial employees struggled to reduce working hours and therefore have periods to unwind like a Feierabend or a weekend, he adds. 

However, the concept has been developed over the decades, until its impact on productivity was discovered. Disconnecting from work properly can increase performance during work hours significantly. For this reason, the defenders of the Feierabend recommend activities such as walking outdoors during the break time, and they are against spending that period drinking alcohol or partying.

 Disconnecting from work is almost an obligation 

The advent of teleworking has caused many stress problems for workers. In this sense, disconnecting is almost an obligation that employees must impose on themselves if they do not want to suffer consequences - sometimes serious - both in their professional and personal lives. Even companies see that there is a problem if people are always available and working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

But not all Germans apply the Feierabend philosophy to disconnect. As in Spain, many workers have come to break the boundaries between their personal lives and their working hours as a result of the pandemic. The boundaries between my work and my personal life became increasingly blurred. I remember one day wondering why no one was replying to my Slack messages. And what happened was that it was Saturday, recalls a worker in a recent article. 

Photo by Perchek Industrie from Pexels

To solve the problem, discipline is key. Setting a very rigid schedule, this includes times to exercise, cook, read. These are some of the techniques that will allow you to overcome your work addiction and be more productive without giving up free time, so necessary at this time.

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