Work ethic is a valuable feature that companies look for in their employees. But the devil is in the details.

Yes, an excellent work ethic can get you special projects because you're reliable, dedicated, and disciplined. But at which point does putting your job first start to take a toll on you?

That's exactly what Twitter users are trying to find out in this viral thread. Inspired by Samuel Pollen's humorous tweet about the differences between European and American out-of-offices, people from all over the world are sharing what's expected of them in the workplace.

#1

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

CrabCakesHBrew Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

:D

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#2

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

daytime_ghost Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

It's fair

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Pollen's initial tweet, the one that started this discussion, was born out of his own work. "I live and work in the UK, and I have a lot of US clients," he told Bored Panda. "They send emails at all times of day, and never go on holiday. Conversely, our Swedish clients disappear all summer! So it was very much informed by my direct experience."

However, he wouldn't describe its subject matter as work ethic. "You can have a great work ethic and still appreciate the importance of family time, your health, and proper rest and relaxation," Pollen said. "But there are many legal and cultural factors at play. The cliché is that Europeans work to live, and Americans live to work. That elides many different individual experiences, but there’s a great deal of truth in it. Things like having a set number of sick days seem completely absurd to people on this side of the Atlantic!"

#3

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

samuel_pollen Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Likely fired as did not answer the phone while getting anaesthetics.

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#4

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

satorudo Report

Lola
Community Member
1 month ago

Something definitely wrong with this thinking when you think going on maternity leave is time off.

Monday
Community Member
1 month ago

It is time off though. TIme off work. Not vacation time, but by definition still time "off".

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Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

Germany: if you get sick during your holiday, those days will count as sick days (there is no limit to those if a doctor confers) and you get your holiday days back to take another time.

Aroha
Community Member
1 month ago

Same in Finland!!

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Isa
Community Member
1 month ago

Germany:Each parent can take up to three years of parental leave per child. In the case of the mother, however, this three-years-long parental leave includes the legally prescribed, six-weeks-long after-birth maternity leave during which the mother has to stay home. Fathers can start parental leave (the earliest) at the childbirth and mothers can start theirs' after the end of their (six-weeks-long) maternity leave. Both parents have to take at least a part of their parental leave before the child's 3rd birthday and they need to conclude it before the child's 8th birthday. Apart from that, as a parent, you can freely choose the beginning and the end of your parental leave. You and your partner do not have to both go on parental leave- only one parent may go on parental leave if you prefer so.

Rosie Hamilton
Community Member
1 month ago

Parental leave is an unpaid break from work offered to new parents to look after their children. The parental leave can be up to three years, and the time can be split between the two parents. A parent can decide to not work at all or only work part-time (up to 30 hours a week). Even though parental leave is an unpaid break, new parents can apply for parental allowance (Elterngeld). If you apply to basic parental allowance, you can expect to receive between 300 and 1.800 euros per month. As a rule, it is 65% of your net income before giving birth. If you apply to parental allowance plus, you can expect to receive between 150 and 900 euros per month. The amount of parental allowance plus is limited to half of what you would theoretically receive as basic parental allowance.

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Roe Rainrunner
Community Member
1 month ago

You "only" get paid 60% of your former wage ;)

Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
1 month ago

I am German. Here it is even LEGALLY REQUIRED that an expectant mother goes on maternity leave 6 weeks before the due date. and then stays at home 8 weeks after the birth. Then you can go to work. Or you stay 1-3 yrs at home. But I don't know anybody who takes the full 3 years... Fathers can take leave also.

Suzanne Clark
Community Member
1 month ago

My boss wanted to know how to reach me while I was on a two week vacation, "in case of an emergency". My reply "call 911".

Iron Eddy
Community Member
1 month ago

:D

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Maria Rib
Community Member
1 month ago

These are called family values.

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 month ago

In the U.S. "family values" is a term thrown around by the Republican party who means by that that everyone should be forced to attend church and every woman should be forced to be married and be a housewife. Also that they should be white and Protestant.

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Franc Esca
Community Member
1 month ago

It's not "months off." It's working on the baby

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Do you have any idea how hard it was in the U.S. for women to make a living, because employers wouldn't hire them in fear that they eventually might get pregnant? And with the attitude that EVERY woman would become pregnant eventually, they just really didn't want to hire women. And for a long time, they only wanted women in "non-critical" positions. Government regulation finally made that illegal and also provided tax bonuses to offset the businesses' reluctance, but it was a long uphill fight. If the U.S. were to become as liberal about maternity leave as Europe, I fear how businesses here will react. Will need stringent continued government support of women's rights for this to keep from drastically impacting womens' employability again.

Marlowe Fitzpatrik
Community Member
1 month ago

If you always duck down and kiss the business's feet, nothing will ever be done. Don't just take the unfairness lying down - fight! At LEAST fight for women having six weeks off after giving birth - that is the lowest bar to take. Goddammit, they just squeezed a bowlingball through a keyhole! And don't think the government and the businesses in Europe just gave those times out of the goodness of their hearts. It's been hard work to get it there, so don't expect anyone to just GIVE you something. Don't be so stoic, man - you are apparently a nation of rebels and fighters, but you kiss ass of big corporations as if you like it.

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Thomas Kozma
Community Member
1 month ago

Maternity leave is 3 years (36 months) in hungary...

Materyst
Community Member
1 month ago

Not true for all, sadly. Once went on vacation with my German dad. During our hike to the mountaintop he was in a conference call.

Daniela Strobl
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm German and working in my free time too sometimes (what isn't good) but I only have to if necessary and that's the point. I can't be fired for taking my time off.

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Jake B
Community Member
1 month ago

my wife just took 18months of Mat leave, we are Canadian. i was able to take 5 weeks to help her.

Fred Frock
Community Member
1 month ago

i really don't understand you expect to have an employer pay you a years salary everytime you choose to voluntarily have a kid and hold your job and pay somebody else to do your job while you aren't there?

Manuel Delgado
Community Member
1 month ago

But some poor amazon workers were talked into vote against syndication.

Aubrey Oleandereie
Community Member
1 month ago

We got 2-4years PAID parental leave in my country CZ, EU. You got a budget and devide the money as you like in this time period. Also social and health insurance full covered for mother and baby. And covered education up to university degree. (all of the degrees you can get) I wouldn't live anywhere else.

ms Cabins
Community Member
1 month ago

Same here. I was on paid maternity leave for 16 months. Thank you Swedish Social insuranse system :)

Jyri Hakola
Community Member
1 month ago

Once my favorite start for a holiday was a week long hike in Lapland wilderness. No cell phone reception and If someone would have really liked to contact me the search area would have easily been at least 1000 km2 :D

Montana
Community Member
1 month ago

Almost the whole Europe is closed on July.

Ahimsa Soul
Community Member
1 month ago

Not really, no. Most likely in August. And it depends on the industry. You"ll hardly find any restaurants, bars, hotels, anything to do with tourism closed in August. July it's actually a great month to visit Europe.

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Mewton’s Third Paw
Community Member
1 month ago

I feel more shocked that someone would ask to reach a colleague in the Swiss alps than anything. Leave people on vacation alone. Maternity leave sounds miserable so I would understand if that person were still available but don’t bother someone on actual vacation!

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#5

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

bugeyedoyle Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

I had paid leave for months. I am the father. That this is not the norm saddens me deeply, and I have sympathy for anyone who suffers from being deprived of taking care of their baby due to broken social systems.

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There are numbers to back up these statements, too. For example, Brits tend to put in fewer work hours than Americans (OECD data places average hours worked per year in the U.K. at 1,538 and in the U.S. at 1,779).

Then there's desk dining—the sad act of having your lunch where you work. A 2015 survey found that only 1 in 5 Americans actually spends their lunch break away from their desks, with most eating their midday meal while they continue to work. Plus, millions of Americans are skipping lunch altogether to continue working.

#6

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

susen366 Report

If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

And still get paid

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#7

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

DAYtheELF Report

Beatrice Multhaupt
Community Member
1 month ago

My German brother in law, working in Germany, once found himself locked out of his office. He hadn't taken a vacation in three years and Personnel decided that this behaviour was bad for his health.

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#8

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

Mr_John_Oxley Report

Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Fair enough.

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#9

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

TheSunShine_ Report

If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

Actually I'm (German) jealous of some Skandinavien work places. They practice 6h per day (instead of 8h) 5b days a week and studies show, that you can accomplish the same amount of work in that time. They get paid full time. And I know for a fact that it is true, I can be as productive in 6 hours (or even more productive) than in 8h.

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At the time of writing the tweet, Pollen thought he was exaggerating things for comic effect but as you can see, the replies tell a different story. "There was the woman who gave birth on a Thursday and was back at her desk the next Monday. There was the person whose colleague literally had a heart attack in the office, and they sent paperwork to the emergency room for him to sign. And there were people from other countries – India, Israel – who described a work culture just as bad."

"My favorite story was from someone who visited Italy, and spotted a sign on a sandwich shop: 'It was a nice day so we went out.' That's a sentiment I can get behind," Pollen recalled.

"If you’ve been working through this pandemic you better believe you deserve a break," he added. "I hope you all get one!"

#10

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

chimediaguy Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

People need a healthy work/life balance. I would go mad if every hour was just work.

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#11

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

IanABray Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

When my son was born I took 1 week off as paternity. It was not worth taking the second week off as it would have cost me too much in lost wages and there was no shared parental leave at the time. I booked the week after as paid holiday instead

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#12

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

stmike321 Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

And you'll still need that second and possibly third job so you don't have to sell your food stamps to pay the rent.

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#13

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

trinioliver Report

rspanther
Community Member
1 month ago

I remember when I had that much vacation, I had a union job and had worked there for 20 years.

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#14

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

Aizehinomo Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

A saying I have picked up is "Your query is not my emergency"

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#15

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

ShirBrownTown Report

Lola
Community Member
1 month ago

My boss said we had to give him a vaccine schedule 1-2 weeks in advance just in case you might have to be out. He also suggested to tough it out if you don’t feel well right after.

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#16

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

Orthanc Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
1 month ago

We shut down for Christmas

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#17

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

alisonaglitter Report

Sonja
Community Member
1 month ago

yeah, it is mostly like that. We don't want you to call us on our holiday. If you do and we pick up, you have to be prepared for the fact that we are on holidays, not IN the OFFICE.

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#18

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

Dragon_Age_Fans Report

TrickQuestion
Community Member
1 month ago

Trust me, we'd LOVE more time off. We're just not offered the chance. Workers here are considered replaceable at any time. If we're taking time off we can be fired. We have to have our days off approved most of the time. It's very very frustrating to worry about your job if you want to go to things at your kids school or appointments or have to leave early to take care of an emergency. If you don't have any time off left you're in real danger of disciplinary action.And we don't get much time off.

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#19

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

T_MECE Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Only people who think that they are indispensable do that. The majority will tell you that you shouldn't even dare to consider contacting them during their holidays.

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#20

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

kjheatherIng Report

rspanther
Community Member
1 month ago

USA needs to do more than catch up.

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#21

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

hostrauser Report

Lisa Haag
Community Member
1 month ago

Like she should

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#22

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

thatladyyouhate Report

James016
Community Member
1 month ago

Or get lunch, or stretch your legs......

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#23

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

AnaDion94 Report

sturmwesen
Community Member
1 month ago

I do this. Call me before a) we lose a customer b) i have to do damage controll afterwards. It works well if your team knows what an emergency is.

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#24

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

ANGOmarcello Report

If I could I would live under water
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, usually there's someone listed who can be contacted if necessary, but that's only for emergencies.

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#25

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

VivaLaBangtan Report

Hugh Cookson
Community Member
1 month ago

Find another job, your current employers are obviously assholes.

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#26

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

wriquest Report

Ian Koch
Community Member
1 month ago

LOL.

#27

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

arkania_x Report

Marianne
Community Member
1 month ago

Also unlimited sick days. (I was so bewildered to learn that some countries limit them. As if you can decide if you get sick.)

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#28

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

elliput Report

doris van natta
Community Member
1 month ago

True.

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#29

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

lauraewelsh Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
1 month ago

Clear communication is of the essence.

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#30

Work-Ethic-Different-Countries

SodDribble Report

Jojo Dancer
Community Member
1 month ago

Feeling good Luis!

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