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On the workfloor

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The Dutch are very informal people on the workfloor and it is common to address all of your colleagues, your direct boss and often even the CEO by their first name. This makes for easy conversation and directness to whomever in the organisation. In the Netherlands it is considered of high value that every employee is able to speak his mind, and while from the outside this might seem possible in every organization it is not always the case. Although people interact on an informal level there is still a difference when you are speaking to your boss or when speaking to a colleague on the same level. And because unemployment rates are pretty high at the moment because of the (wordlwide) economic crisis, the employees will make sure they will not say anything that could be used against them. In my personal opinion it is most likely to have a good understanding with your boss when you are working in a small or medium-small organisation.

Although it is often promoted to be flexible, most of the companies in the Netherlands are not that flexible with their working hours. Most businesses will still expect employees to work an 8 hour workingday somewhere between 8am and 6pm. Hopefully in the future this will get more flexible so there will be less traffic jams:)