Five reasons you should consider working in the Netherlands
The Netherlands is fast becoming a popular destination for international businesses and contract workers alike, thanks in part to significant growth in the renewables market in the area.
With a population of 17 million, a strong economy and one of the highest rates of quality of life in the world, it’s no surprise that many of our contractors are expressing interest in this beautiful part of the planet.
If you’re looking at making the leap and trying out pastures new, here are some of the highlights of working in the Netherlands that may help make your decision easier.
The work-life balance
The Netherlands is famous for its relaxed approach to work. Quite apart from the flat landscape and beautiful scenery that makes biking to work a whole lot better, the Dutch enjoy a high quality of life, with more than half of the population working part-time. You can only work a legal maximum of 60 hours a week, although it’s much more common to do 36 to 40 instead. Holiday leave is generous and with a third-place ranking in the 2011 OECD work-life balance report, you can see that the Dutch really mean it when they say they focus on maintaining a positive-work life balance. This means that you’ve got more time to do the things you love after work, whether it’s exploring the historic windmills of Kinderdijk, exercising in Hoge Veluwe National Park or taking in some of the world’s best art at the Rijksmuseum.
Standard of living
Tired of the London smog? Well, the Netherlands also ranks as one of the best places in the world to live, with a high life expectancy, good quality of water and education. The OECD reports that Dutch people enjoy a significantly better level of satisfaction in life than the global average, with above average career and earnings opportunities, housing, education, health and environmental standards.
Major cities such as Amsterdam are a lot smaller than London, giving you a better quality of air and easy access to the countryside, and the Dutch spend just 19% of their gross adjusted disposable income on household costs (below the OECD average of 21%).
It’s easy to conduct business
The Netherlands has a reputation for being tolerant, welcoming and open to new opportunities and this is reflected in the way it does business. The Dutch culture puts a lot of emphasis on being polite and in the workplace it’s expected for high-ranking company employees to treat everyone in an organisation with respect, regardless of their position.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Dutch working culture is known as being extremely direct: sharing opinions is encouraged, even if what somebody is saying happens to be negative. With such an open and direct way of doing business, it’s not surprising that the Netherlands is known for its frequent and successful business meetings, where open communication and teamwork is encouraged. For workers who like sharing opinions and learning from others, this type of environment can be a significant career advantage.
The industry is growing
The Dutch economy is one of the most stable in the European Union, and is also one of the richest. This, along with an appealing taxation system and location in the centre of Europe, has made the Netherlands extremely appealing to international companies. Internationally-renowned businesses like Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever have their headquarters in the country, which in turn has attracted a lot of international talent. This demand is only growing as more companies move there, creating a demand for skilled workers in renewable energy, IT, healthcare and especially engineering. For people looking to work in a rapidly-expanding marketplace, the Netherlands is the place to be.
Though perhaps slightly overshadowed by its larger, more famous neighbours France and Germany, the Netherlands attracted 15.5 million tourists to its shores in 2016 - and for good reason. Not only is it home to windmills, tulips and the beautiful city of Amsterdam, often referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’, the Netherlands has culture, scenery and even castles in spades. There’s a lot of exploring to be done, from quaint little villages to the centre of the EU in The Hague, that you can only do justice to when you live there.
Find out more
If you’ve ever considered relocating to the Netherlands, whether permanently or for an appealing contract position, now could be the perfect time to make the move. We have a wide variety of opportunities opening up in this beautiful part of the world, and we’re always looking for skilled and talented candidates to join us. See more on our current vacancies here, or get in touch.