Feierabend, a German tactic to disconnect from work

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Joe Dispenza


Feierabend, a German tactic to disconnect from work

Teleworking is increasingly used nowadays. Due to this, sometimes the work activity ends up taking up much more space and time. Feierabend is one way to prevent this from happening.

Last update: April 19, 2021

The Feierabend is a tactic devised by the Germans to disconnect from work. As everyone knows, never before has the line that separates personal life from working life become so blurred. In some cases, people can be said to work all day.

This is especially true for those who work remotely. They receive e-mails, messages of all kinds or requests of various kinds at all hours of the day. This means that they cannot enjoy moments of rest or breaks that are effective. Feierabend is a remedy for this type of situation.

Not being able to disconnect from work causes more fatigue and an impoverishment of personal life. The value of Feierabend lies in the fact that it allows you to create an effective space to disconnect from work requests and rest physically and mentally.

"The art of rest is a part of the art of work."

-John Steinbeck-

Telework: its ups and downs

Telework has saved many people from traveling every day from home to work and vice versa. Although moving often caused stressful situations such as finding yourself in a traffic jam or moving around in the chaotic bustle of the city, the truth is that it is also a moment of transition and a space that belongs to every person.

With teleworking, this shift is no longer necessary. At the same time, working hours for many have become extremely flexible.

Sometimes it can start earlier than usual and continue throughout the day until late at night. There are even cases where at midnight we find ourselves receiving a last message from work.

Add to this the fact that daily commuting between work and home adds dynamism to the day.

It forced people to go through different places, see different people and move to different places. Telework has made people's lifestyles much more sedentary.

What is Feierabend

The Feierabend is defined as that moment in which the working day ends and there is room for rest. It is a German word and refers, in particular, to that feeling you get after completing all the tasks / commitments noted on the to-do list.

There is particular satisfaction in that moment, because we have fulfilled our duty, and this makes us deserve, in some way, to do what we want with our time.

Therefore, the Feierabend equates, in one way or another, to that journey from home to work when the work is done in person. Since there is no equivalent for teleworking, the Germans have come up with this tactic. It simply consists of taking a walk at the end of working hours.

The idea is to mark the transition between the working day and time outside of work. So, if the working hours end at six, we'll have to go for a walk at that time.

It means that the moment of rest begins. It is a “clean” closure, since its function is to close a loop.

The advantages of the Feierabend

Everything indicates that those who work in telework mode, even if they have strict schedules, tends to spend more time on work. It is likely that if an activity remains pending, we will not give ourselves a break before it is finished.

On the other hand, we can stop working concretely, but not mentally. Not changing the environment does not help us in this sense.

In face-to-face jobs, leaving the workplace has already marked a before and an after. In teleworking that boundary is very fragile. Therefore, it is easy for a person to find themselves working more than before or to mix work with their personal life. Neither option is healthy, so it is very important to draw a line.

This is the role of Feierabend: to mark the before and after. At the same time, every day, we take a walk. It means that the work has finished and the moment of rest begins. This is essential to preserve not only one's physical and mental health, but productivity as well.

Feierabend's translation is not exact. Some interpret it as happy hour, others say that the description that "you get back in touch with your soul" is more accurate.

Whatever the literal meaning, the fact remains that it corresponds to that moment of detachment from obligations which, whatever the circumstances, must be preserved.

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