Dutch working culture

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.

To make your visit to our website even easier and more personal we use cookies (and comparable techniques). With this cookies we and third parties are able to collect information about you and your internet behaviour on our website (and possibly outside of our website). With this information we and third parties are able to adapt content to your interests and profile. In addition, cookies allow us to share information through social media. You can read more about our cookie policy on this page.