Lets Go Dutch

I was reading in John Naish’s excellent book “Enough: Breaking Free from the World of More”, that the Dutch have a totally different attitude to work and on average work 4 hours less than other European countries.


British (and American) bosses see putting in hours and hours of overtime proves you are a loyal dedicated, and therefore productive employee. Therefore rewarded accordingly.

In the Netherlands, they tend to think that if you can’t get your allotted work done in normal working hours then there must be something wrong, with you or the job, and come in to investigate and help sort it out.

The interesting thing is that, whereas the Dutch attitude has been supported by a wealth of evidence to suggest it as much more productive (and healthier for the employees), the Anglo-American attitude to working hours and traits has a wealth of evidence to suggest it leads to lower productivity over the long term, higher staff turn over and more sick days.

If that is not a good enough reason for bosses to change their ideology and culture I don’t know what is!

Lets all go Dutch (if only it was really that easy…).


PS, I won’t be here tomorrow, normal service will resume on Tuesday.