Germany has a task-oriented culture. Everything is a task to be completed, no matter how social, how fun, or how lighthearted it may be.
There is a goal, and that goal is to finish the task while squeezing the most optimal result possible out of said task.
Foreigners see this as an inability to have fun. We see it as the most efficient, most optimized, and most effective way to have fun 😉
That type of thinking translates into the work culture. When you work with Germans, you can see that they are all focused on their personal puzzle piece within the greater task, and they are focused on identifying new tasks and completing them quickly and well.
This is reinforced through social mechanisms. Negative and positive reinforcement both feature heavily in the culture of the workplace. Neither your coworkers, bosses, or sometimes even subordinates are shy about pointing out your failures or inadequacies. Usually they are also not shy about pointing out your successes, both to you and to others, which balances it out.
It’s a high feedback culture, but you have to know how to read it. What a German sees as sincere praise is easy to dismiss as banal, insincere word diarrhea in an English speaking culture.
In an Anglo context, this level of feedback would be taken personally. Germans maintain a level of emotional detachment through formality in the workplace. Criticisms are not taken personally, except by the most insecure people.
It’s an outcome oriented approach. People aren’t hanging out at work just so they can clock more hours. This creates an atmosphere of industriousness.
That doesn’t meant that all of our people are industrious or efficient or anything, but it means that their behavior still looks like it is.