The Würth Family is made up of 71,000 employees who work in more than 80 different countries with roughly 125,000 different products. This is essentially a patchwork family writ large made up of unbelievably diverse cultures. A community in which very diverse personalities come together but that nonetheless functions exceptionally well. This is because everyone is pulling together the world over and each of them puts the Würth corporate culture into practice. In addition, every employee has one more – exceptionally human – thing in common: somewhere between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., the stomach starts to growl, concentration wanes a bit and a slight tiredness sets in. In a nutshell: it’s time for lunch.
“SHOW ME YOUR LUNCH BREAK AND I’LL TELL YOU WHERE YOU’RE FROM.”
However, opinions tend to differ with regard to what that break should entail – just like in any other normal family. Some want to get out and move, others want to simply fill their belly and relax a little. The lunch break is a part of the workday that illustrates the very personal preferences and habits of each and every employee. However, it is also the time when you are perhaps best able to see the great degree of cultural diversity at locations around the world. For example, the standard lunch break in Norway is 30 minutes shorter than is the case for Germany. In China, taking a nap is normal, whereas in Brazil or America people remain active. However, regardless of where you are, the main point is that you are able to do what makes you feel good during the lunch break.
JUMPING TO RELIEVE STRESS
Marco Hüller has worked for Würth Italy since 2006 and is responsible for marketing at branch offices. During his lunch break he jumps rope. While he is at it, he likes to listen to heavy metal or rock music: “That’s best for both my physical and mental fitness – and is a great way to relieve stress!”
WE ARE FAMILY
In Bolivia, lunch breaks, which are often quite extensive, are dedicated to family. Marco Landivar, sales manager for Würth Bolivia, picks his daughters up from school in the afternoon and eats lunch with them and his wife. Ideally, there is a little time left over for a siesta with his family…
TIME FOR DREAMING
Ronnie Gu is the New Channel Development Manager at Würth China. In China, sleeping culture is somewhat different than our own: while in Europe we are used to one long period of sleep during the night, in China sleep is partially spread out throughout the day in order to shorten sleep at night. For this reason, no one is surprised when they see Ronnie Gu sleeping.
SOCCER IN MINIATURE
Typical Brazilian: Ronildo Abreu, Danilo Sousa, Rafael Garcia and Fernando Correia (left to right), do their country, the home of soccer, proud: during their break, the four co-workers from the logistics department gather for a passionate game of foosball.
EXERTION RATHER THAN REST
Time for a gym selfie! Emily Shepherd, logistics specialist at Würth Logistics USA, prefers to spend her lunch break working out in the gym. This way, she keeps herself fit and after her workout, lunch tastes even better.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH TOGETHER
At Würth Norway, employees do what they call “lunch walking” once a week for 15 minutes. They set off in small groups and eat lunch at their workstations after they are done. By the way, the standard lunch break in Norway is only 30 minutes.
At Würth Spain, it is common for department heads to go to lunch with their staff. The Spanish say that this strengthens the feeling of community and represents a form of team-building. It seems to work: laughter is common and conversation touches on everything.
GAMING DURING THE BREAK
During the lunch break in China, many colleagues first head off to the company’s gaming area. While others are busy taking their customary midday nap, these colleagues battle it out over a game of ping-pong, billiards or foosball. Relaxing is just a matter of perspective after all. What counts is getting the most bang for your buck.
NO NEED TO LIFT A FINGER DURING LUNCH
In China it is not uncommon for a colleague to get a manicure during the lunch break. Why not, say Susan Jiang and Floudy Zhu from Customer Service with their colleague Lolita Yu. It is relaxing and coming back from the break with pretty and colorful nails definitely lifts the spirits.
PUT YOUR FEET UP AND LET THE GOSSIP ROLL!
Thirsty for the latest tittle-tattle? Isabella Lira, Munique Lopes and Paula Jakovlevas from the HR department at Würth Brazil simply need a little change of pace during their lunch. The mishaps and fashion faux pas of the celebrities provide for the perfect contrast.
CUES IN LIEU OF CHOPSTICKS
The game of snooker is all about precision and staying calm. Ricardo Almeida from the Quality Assurance department at Würth Brazil wants to give it another try during his lunch break. This “gentleman’s sport” attracts many curious spectators. Playing a game is also a good way to spark up a conversation with other colleagues.
LUNCH À LA CARTE
In Denmark, the employees meet in the canteen for lunch. But a break without a deck of cards would not be nearly as enjoyable for Preben Lundbeck, Claus Andersen and Jens Erik Jensen. The colleagues love playing a game of cards after a savory smørrebrød. The players know this stimulates digestion and promotes team spirit.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IF YOU PLEASE
Some colleagues in Denmark prefer to spend their break outdoors. Around the Würth premises, there are many paths that lead through meadows with high pastures and small forests. Not even the wind, which often howls through the land, can hold back these colleagues. It breathes newfound life into them.
A MIDDAY DIVE
Okyanus Günay, in-house salesman and price manger at Würth Turkey, is fond of hanging out with his fish during the break. At the office, he has a smaller version of his stately aquarium back home. Okyanus finds feeding and watching the fish to be more effective than any sort of meditation.
THE PURR-FECT BREAK
Every day, Rojda Uyar from the Product Management department at Würth Turkey looks after the small cats that have made the main office their home. She has even set up a cozy refuge for her four-legged friends and feeds them during her lunch break. Of course, a great deal of petting goes without saying.
WHEN EVERYTHING COMES TOGETHER
Salvador Gómez, team leader at Würth Mexico, enjoys spending the break with his colleagues from the production floor. The group turns to unconventional means of entertaining themselves, like a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. Here everything flows as per usual.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE COMPANY
At Würth Poland, the employees have a half-hour lunch break. And they all use it quite differently: some meet in the canteen, others at a bistro around the corner, and still others watch a short film together or chat over a cup of coffee – like Aleksandra Kossowska, Joanna Kurach and Ewa Paprocka. The key element is being together.
KEEP CALM AND CURRY ON
Samruddhi Puranik is the marketing manager at Würth IT India. The lunch break is holy for this young hobby chef. In the cafeteria, she meets regularly with colleagues to taste and exchange new recipes. That is the moment when chutneys, curries and homemade bread make their big entrance. The elaborate dishes are carefully prepared and cooked at home. Over lunch, the group talks about original recipes, secret spices and different methods of preparation. This brings back fond memories, which, together with the food, refuel Samruddi’s energy reserves.
ON THE MOVE
In Canada, small groups of employees frequently go out on walks during the break. Eating in the office without going on a walk afterwards would be downright inconceivable for Alana Wajcman, Kent Walters, Fadi Nehme and Dee Pavlovic.
CHAIRWOMAN OF THE ADVISORY BOARD OF THE WÜRTH GROUP ON THE TOPIC OF WORK/LIFE BALANCE
“Does it really exist – work-life balance? Sometimes I think that it’s a phantom, an invention of the media. But then I see everything that our employees do in order to clear their heads in between the work they perform in the morning and in the afternoons. Only those who don’t see relaxation and work as contradictions can achieve balance. The one is what makes the other truly valuable.”