The Dutch are known for their direct, down-to-earth approach to life and this extends to working culture.
Some important aspects of working life in the northern Netherlands include:
- Work-life balance. The standard working week is 40 hours, but many people work less than this (men included) and job appointments can be calculated in half-day slots. Dependent on your industry, these hours are actually adhered to more or less strictly.
- Consensus and directness. Dutch companies generally have a flexible hierarchy within companies and a non-hierarchical approach to clients. Disagreement across hierarchical levels is possible.
- Informality. Dutch workplaces are informal in terms of dress and interaction; there is not a lot of formal business etiquette.
- Planning. The Dutch are punctual and live with a very structured agenda.
- ‘Nuchter’. Groningers are often characterised as ‘nuchter’, meaning unpretentious or no-nonsense, more so than other regional identities.
On the Expatica website you can find a general introduction to working culture in the Netherlands and a more in-depth article too. The IWCN website provides an overview of Dutch customs more generally, as well as an overview of what to do in the job application process.