The German culture promotes punctuality
Punctuality is an integral part of the German culture. The German culture has many famous sayings that point to the importance of order, punctuality and being on time such as ‘Punctuality is the politeness of kings’.
Germans have strict rules
Germans have very strict rules for almost everything. The fact that the rules apply to everyone enforced the culture of order and punctuality. A person can hardly survive in Germany without sticking to those rules as well.
Low power distance
Germans are not very submissive to superiors. The fact that Germans think of themselves as equals motivated them to demand respect and to expect everyone to arrive on time no matter what his title is.
The transportation system is very punctual
In Germany, the transportation system is very punctual that a non-punctual person will always miss the bus, train or public transport. The punctual transportation system contributed to the punctuality of people living in Germany.
They like to plan ahead
Germans have a long term orientation and they like to plan Ahead. They usually plan their time ahead and that’s why they usually arrive on time and sometimes before the time comes.
High uncertainty avoidance
Germans dislike uncertainty, and as a result, they have low tolerance for waiting for someone for an undetermined time. The fact that a person shows up on time can help German people trust him because they tend to feel more certain about him. (See Why do people hate uncertainty?)
The German language highlights the importance of punctuality
The German language has many words and phrases that highlight the importance of punctuality. The German phrase ‘Alles in Ordnung?’ which is like the English ‘Everything Ok?’ literally means ‘Is everything in order?’
The German education system points to the importance of punctuality from the early years and so new infants embrace the punctual system from their early years.
German’s express discontent when someone is late
Germans can be very assertive in expressing their discontent. The fact that they make it clear that it annoys them to wait motivates the not so punctual people to arrive on time and to stick to the schedule. (See How to be assertive without being rude?)
They pay attention to details
Germans pay much attention to details and this could have contributed to their punctuality. Unlike some other countries, in Germany 8:00 is not the same as 8:01.
Germans feel proud of themselves and their country. From a psychological point of view, a person who feels proud of who he is would not want others to keep him waiting or to arrive late.
It’s hard to live their lives without being punctual
The Fact that Germans are so punctual makes it hard for a person to live there without being punctual at well. Procrastinators find themselves pressured to adapt and to become punctual in order to fit in the system. This is why some foreigners who live in Germany tend to become more punctual.
Cold weather can make people more punctual
Some people believe that the Cold weather can make people more punctual as it always keeps people moving and it can make it hard for someone to wait for long outdoors.
Applied the system of Romans
Some people believe that Germans got their punctuality from Romans who used to have fixed rules and strict order during the time of old Germania in the first century BC.
Why are Germans so punctual?
Why do people insist that Germans are punctual? Why German Punctuality and Planning Is Serious Business?