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?

3 comments

  1. This is fun! If only I was more handsome I would shoot a video on the differences Italians/ Dutch eheh!
  2. 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?