Ruby Anderson explains how “Dutch Culture Taught Me to Be Brutally Honest,” and relates this anecdote from a friend about attitudes to working hours:

“I had a Dutch boss who asked me why I was working so late,” [Canadian-born writer Colleen] Geske told me. “I would be one of the last to leave the office and he told me, ‘You know, you don’t have to work this late. It doesn’t make you seem like a better employee. Actually it just makes people think you’re inefficient and can’t get your work done on time.’”

Who knows how widespread this attitude towards time and efficiency is in the Netherlands. From the time I’ve spent there, I’m willing to believe it’s the case, but I’d love to know more.


But it’s worth noting that the Dutch have some of the shortest working hours, and highest productivity levels, in the world.