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Working in the Netherlands, the Do's and Don'ts

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Working in the Netherlands, the Do's and Don'ts

You've just moved from abroad and are starting your new job in the Netherlands. But what about certain aspects of Dutch work culture? The Dutch work culture is different from that of other countries. In this blog, we'll highlight a few do's and don'ts for navigating the Dutch work culture.


Dutch people are known for their straightforwardness, and you can expect this in the workplace too. Don't hesitate to be direct yourself. Offer your honest opinion on various matters. However, ensure that your directness in expressing your opinions remains respectful.

Equality and Teamwork

The Dutch work culture emphasizes equality and collaboration. Hierarchy is generally less pronounced, and decisions are often made through consensus. As an international employee, it's crucial to contribute your ideas and actively participate in team discussions. Be prepared to work in a collaborative and egalitarian environment where everyone's input is valued.


Punctuality is highly valued in the Dutch work culture. Being late for meetings or appointments is seen as disrespectful. Make sure to organize your schedule accordingly and aim to be on time or even a few minutes early. If unforeseen circumstances lead to your lateness, communicate promptly and apologize for the delay.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important in the Netherlands. Dutch employees prioritize their personal lives and value leisure time. It's common for people to leave the office on time to pursue hobbies, spend time with family, or enjoy leisure activities. As an international employee, it's important to respect and embrace this balance, ensuring you take care of your well-being outside of work.

Informal but Professional Attire

Attire in the Dutch workplace leans towards informal yet professional. While dress codes may vary based on the industry, it's generally acceptable to be well-dressed without being overly formal. Observing your colleagues' clothing style and adjusting accordingly is always a good idea. When in doubt, it's better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.


Adapting to a new work culture can be both exciting and challenging. By understanding the do's and don'ts of the Dutch work culture, you can effectively integrate, build positive relationships with your colleagues, and thrive professionally. Embrace directness, value teamwork, prioritize punctuality, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and dress appropriately. Armed with these insights and tips, you're well-prepared to successfully navigate the Dutch work culture.