“Germany is a country of complainers,” says Thomas Kuwatsch.
“Some people complain about everything, the weather, the train is late, the coffee is bad or they whinge about high fuel prices. If you go to India, they’re happy if their train arrives at all. We complain about stupid things in Europe.”
Mr Kuwatsch works for an IT company called “Nutzwerk”, which is based in Leipzig. It is a small firm, which employs 16 people. But there is something that distinguishes Nutzwerk from other companies.
Employees can be fired if they are caught complaining in the office.
It may sound absurd, but employees have a clause in their contracts which states: “moaning and whinging at Nutzwerk is forbidden… except when accompanied with a constructive suggestion as to how to improve the situation”.
Ramona Wonneberger, chief executive of Nutzwerk, came up with the idea. She claims that “negative energy” puts a dampener not just on workers’ moods, but also on productivity.