What’s most important for Dutch workers?

What’s most important for Dutch workers?

Of all the things that could be considered important in the workplace, a pleasant atmosphere is the most valued by employees in the Netherlands.

Almost all workers included in the state statistics bureau CBS’s research said they considered a good atmosphere to be important, with nearly 80 per cent of Dutch employees rating it as very important.

Following closely behind was good managers, good job security, interesting work and good salary. Things that were least important were being able to work from home or to work part-time.

Different priorities

Attitudes differ, however, between various groups. Eighty-five per cent of women find being able to work part-time important, as compared to 54 per cent of men.

Women also find it more important to be able to determine their own working hours than men do.

When comparing younger and older workers in the Netherlands, 10 per cent more younger people find having the opportunity to work on the job is important than older ones.

On the other hand, older workers attach more importance to their work being healthy than do they young.

Satisfaction with work

There’s also a few gaps between what people consider important and what they are experiencing.

While four out of five people considered a good work atmosphere to be very important, a much smaller percentage (40 per cent) said they were very satisfied with the atmosphere at their work.

Perhaps it’s a good thing that only having a good salary was only the fifth most important aspect to work, as less than 20 per cent of Dutch workers said they were very satisfied with theirs.

Working from home

One reason why the ability to work from home does not rate very highly might be that it is becoming increasingly common anyway.

More figures from CBS show that now one in three employees spend at least one hour working at home each week. That’s up from one in four in 2005. On average, almost six hours per week were spent working from home, which is a significant amount out given the Dutch have the shortest work week of anyone.

This was most common in the education sector, where nearly 70 per cent of workers spent at least one hour per week working from home. It also happen more frequently in communications and financial positions, where around 50 per cent of people regularly work from home.

Greater self-determination

About half of all workers reported that they were able to determine themselves when they could take leave, with a further third saying that was possible sometimes.

Around a fifth of workers are able to regularly determine their own working hours, while a further 23 per cent were able to do that sometimes.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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