Expats enjoy solid work-life balance and good hours in the Netherlands

Expats enjoy solid work-life balance and good hours in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is, of course, a popular destination amongst expats; not only do a number of international companies have offices here, but the local population is known for its grasp of the English language, and there are plenty of international schools for expat families to choose from. Many move to the country because of their jobs, and the 2021 InterNations Expat Insider survey has revealed what it is about working in the Netherlands that expats love so much: the work-life balance, the flexible hours and the job security. 

InterNations’ Future of Working Abroad report

Expats come to the Netherlands to work across a wide range of sectors, with 48 percent of Netherlands-based expats moving to the country for work-related reasons. The most popular industries amongst expats are IT (14 percent work in this sector), followed by manufacturing and engineering (8 percent) and finance (7 percent).

On the whole, expats working in the Netherlands seem to display above-average levels of satisfaction with their work life. When asked what they enjoy most about their jobs in the Netherlands, 37 percent of expats praised the work-life balance, with 36 percent appreciating the opportunity to work remotely or from home, and 31 percent acknowledging the flexible working hours. 

Over three-quarters of survey respondents said they were satisfied with their job, and 87 percent said they were satisfied with the state of the Dutch economy. 79 percent of respondents rated their working hours positively, and 78 percent gave their work-life balance a favourable rating. There is room for improvement, however, as only 57 percent said they were happy with the local job opportunities.

Importance of New Work in the Dutch work culture

Expat Insider 2021 survey also examined the importance of New Work in business cultures around the world. New Work is an emerging concept that aims to adjust the way people work, prioritising values such as self-fulfilment, autonomy, and personal development, while also looking at how work environments can change to adapt to the globalised and digital age. 

According to the Future of Working Abroad report, 76 percent of expats in the Netherlands think that New Work plays an important role in the country’s business culture, with 69 percent believing that the concept is given more weight in the Netherlands than in their home country. 

Overall, the Netherlands ranked fifth out of the 55 countries included in the report when it comes to the importance of New Work in local business culture with the United States and the United Arab Emirates topping the ranking.

For more information about the Expat Insider survey, visit the InterNations website.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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