The wishes and expectations of the Germans

What do Germans consider important? What do they expect from their private lives, what kind of significance do they ascribe to relationships, and what expectations do they have regarding their jobs? To answer these questions, the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT conducted a survey of 3,000 people. These are the most important results of the DIE ZEIT legacy survey focusing on the topic of work …

Work is very important for Germans

A total of 86% of all Germans said that work is important to them. In most cases, what motivates Germans to work is neither economic necessity nor a sense of duty. Even if they could afford a life without working, more than half of Germans would like to continue working at their jobs. Moreover, nine out of ten Germans would advise their children and grandchildren to take their working lives and their jobs seriously.

Further results:

The dream job

Three out of four respondents said they are working at their dream job today. And 46% said that one of the reasons why they find their current occupation so fascinating is that the work it entails changes so quickly that it stays continually interesting.

Flexible working times

In many cases, flexible working times are a privilege of academics. A total of 58% of employees with a university degree have flexible working times. Only 31% of academics would like to have fixed working times.

Group membership

A total of 81% of Germans consider it important to have a sense of togetherness in the various parts of their lives. However, in this regard they tend to be pessimistic about the future. Only 22% of them believe that people will be able to experience this positive feeling in the future.

Willingness to change

Many Germans are open to changes. Almost half of them (48% of the respondents) consider it personally important to start up something entirely new now and again.

Having a sense of togetherness is important to the Germans.
Having a sense of togetherness is important to the Germans.

Information about the study

Responsible for the content: infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences and the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) headed by Prof Jutta Allmendinger
Client: The weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT (“The Time”)
Publication: 2016/2017

The legacy study was published as a book titled Das Land, in dem wir leben wollen – Wie die Deutschen sich ihre Zukunft vorstellen (The country we want to live in—How Germans envision their future); author: Prof Jutta Allmendinger, President of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), Pantheon publishing company 2017, ISBN: 978–3‑570–55347‑3.


Photos in this post: Constantinis / iStock by Getty Images, IBA