21st century Dutch work culture

21st century Dutch work culture

Paid partnership

Projob is a recruitment and career coaching agency with a focus on expats. Projob works with local and international companies, professionals and freelancers.

Someone asked me the other day, how would you describe the Dutch working culture at this moment? As a labour market specialist, you have to have an answer to that of course, but what actually occurred to me was: can we still talk about a Dutch work culture?

A mix of cultures

We live and work in a country where diversity plays an important role. And we're talking about diversity in different areas. Around 180 nationalities live in Amsterdam alone. They also are a large part of the working population, bringing their own cultural perspective on work and work relations.

In addition to that, we now also have four generations in the workplace, and slowly but surely five are starting to emerge. The oldest generation did not grow up with technology at all and the youngest generation cannot imagine life without technology.

Maybe we should conclude that the Dutch work culture is now formed by a mix of cultures and generations that influence, enrich and perhaps sometimes make things difficult for each other.

What we find important has changed

But we do see a change taking place when it comes to what we all find increasingly important when it comes to our job:

  • More happiness at work
  • Being sensibly busy
  • Personal growth
  • Autonomy
  • Meaningful work relationships
  • Vitality

We already see these needs and appreciation running through organisations, all generations and different nationalities. We find each other in this more and more. How we fill it in may differ.

In the Netherlands, there has long been a view that you work because you have to and that you have to seek your happiness in your private life. Slowly but surely, a different view of this has emerged.

The Identity Economy

We live in a new form of economy, the Identity Economy, which is created partly by these human needs that seem to belong to all cultures and all generations. Instead of the Production and Efficiency based economies of the past two centuries, where human needs were secondary.

Do we have a Dutch work culture here? I think so. Is it typically Dutch? Apparently not. And I think we can be happy with that.

Are you curious about what career opportunities await you in the Netherlands? Get in touch with Projob and see what they can do for you!

Els Brouwer


Els Brouwer

Els has been working for more than twenty years in the recruitment sector and now at Projob, an agency that offers not only recruitment but also careercoaching. She is responsible...

Read more



Leave a comment