The little difference
The Netherlands is considered a liberal, modern and rainy country, where you will find wide beaches, picturesque canals and friendly inhabitants. But do cliché and reality match?
Even if one should think that due to the geographical proximity between the small neighbor state and Germany, there are no major differences, one finds then surprisingly many differences in culture and daily life and so in the world of work.
It's the small things that make the difference. This can be, for example, the fact that commands are often given in question form: "Can you ...", "Could you please ...". Or that the Dutch are more orally oriented, while Germans always like to have everything written down.
Oral communication and language nuances
Just to understand the fine nuances, it helps Dutch to be able to. Anyone looking for work in the Netherlands should always learn Dutch, regardless of whether they need the language in their function.
Although most Dutch speakers speak excellent English and often speak German, it helps to master the Dutch language, be it professionally or to build a circle of friends.
Part-time work and self-employment
A big plus, however, is the opportunity to work part-time. Especially many Dutch women choose this variant. It is also common for young people that men and women both work less in order to look after the children. Also for the men, a parental leave is no problem and socially recognized.
It is also positive that you can work very freelance and easy on your own and become self-employed. The whole administrative apparatus is relatively manageable and sometimes takes place online. Moreover, Germans, as EU citizens, are not faced with any bureaucratic hurdles.
Small factors, great cultural differences
So it is mainly small factors that make the difference in working and everyday life. But since they are held in a relaxed and friendly environment, it is easy to adjust.
Anyone who decides to work in the Netherlands must, however, adapt to the greatest differences in private life and lifestyle. And here, too, there are the small and subtle differences, which are noticeable only when you are on the spot and make the life and work in another country more interesting.
German in the Netherlands
Currently, according to the German Chamber of Commerce 71.350, Germans, including 25.000 students, are living in the Netherlands. Some of them have been transferred by the company, others have been moved to the Dutch partner and others remain for personal reasons.
But what also attracts the Germans to the Netherlands is the positive working conditions of the neighboring country.
A big advantage is the flat hierarchies. In the Netherlands, work is much more informal than in Germany. This can start with the "you" being offered during a job interview.
In the Netherlands, it is customary for everyone to work in one company, from the secretary to the manager Chef, The title "Doctor" is also valid in the Netherlands only for doctors.
Easy but distant
However, this casual approach does not mean that you have a personal relationship with the geduzten persons. It is easy to talk about family, holidays and weekends, but while many Germans understand that as a friendship invitation, that does not mean the same thing in the Netherlands:
Although the tone is extremely friendly, the relationship can still be at the business level. On the other hand, Dutch people can keep aloof German rather distance than perceive distanced. Nevertheless, Germans who have been working together for years still speak with "Mr." and "Mrs.", is inconceivable in the Netherlands.
Get to know colleagues: Duty!
This relaxed approach creates a working atmosphere that is very important in the Netherlands. The weekly "Borrels" also contribute to this. On a Borrel the employees gather, mostly in a bar or a café, and drink a beer together; fried snacks are served. D
These borrels often take place on Fridays after work and are a good opportunity to get to know the colleagues better and to exchange informally. So it is the soft skills of the employees, who occupy a high position in the Netherlands, while in Germany, the expertise is still in the first place.
"Let's talk it out"
In the Netherlands it is also common for employees to be much more involved in in-house decision-making processes. This has the consequence that a lot of meetings take place "vergaderingen". They are trying to reach consensus or negotiate a compromise.
These meetings can sometimes take quite a long time, but everyone is also involved. This may be a bit strange at the beginning, since, even outside the professional field, one is asked for the opinion: Everyone is involved.
Find decisions together!
This has the consequence that a decision is found together and is borne by all of them. Of course, it depends on what kind of decisions and what operation it is.
Authoritarian bosses, who like to have the sole say, are also available, as in all countries of the world.
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