Dutch work culture: 5 things you need to know?

Dear expats and Dutchies,

Yesterday I came across this YouTube video by a Canadian expat who currently works and lives in The Netherlands. In her video, she compares Dutch work culture to Canadian work culture based on five different themes:

1. Birthdays (who treats whom?)
2. Promotions (we don’t like to talk about it...)
3. Working hours (strict hours or flexible hours?)
4. Coffee breaks (apparently we take A LOT of them!)
5. Honest feedback (is there such a thing as being TOO honest?)

I myself identify with four of the above themes (1, 2, 4 & 5) but am very happy with my flexible hours! Curious to hear how you guys experience Dutch work culture! Which points do you agree with and which themes are missing?

Annick Oosterlee

Community Manager
Schiphol Real Estate
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This is fun! If only I was more handsome I would shoot a video on the differences Italians/ Dutch eheh!
Hello, Very interesting and fun indeed! Well though with no video, this is more or less the 'Italian style': 1. Birthdays The person who is having birthday brings a cakes and colleagues collect some money for a present/card 2. Promotions We do not like to spread the news if not with colleagues/friends as there is no official communication so it is like 'keep it for yourself' so other people are not asking for it 3. Working hours For a strange reason the more you stay late at work, the more you are seen as a productive person, while in the morning there is a kind of flexibility. Companies started only recently to be more flexible in terms of work from home etc. There is still a lack of trust. 4. Coffee breaks Coffe break is a social moment...and in Italy we love expresso! 5. Honest feedback Italians like 'diplomacy', so we are not so straight as Dutch. We tent to say the same thing but in a nicer way and with more words :) What about your country?