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Astrid Rundberg

Dutch business culture: your guide before your first day in your new office

By | Culture

Have you recently moved to the Netherlands for work and your first day in the office is just around the corner? Are you planning to accept a job offer in the Netherlands or you want to expand your business there? In any case, the Dutch business culture may differ from the one you are used to, and in order to succeed in your career in the Netherlands here are some useful tips about doing business with the Dutch.

1. Directness

One thing that may pop up in your mind when you hear Dutch people is directness. Although we want to steer clear of any stereotypes, you should be prepared for your colleagues’ direct remarks, positive or negative. Dutch people will speak their mind and you should probably do the same if you want to avoid miscommunications. Of course, this directness is not a sign of disrespect, but it is well-intended and honest.

2. Informal Communication Style

What goes hand-in-hand with the directness is the informal communication style. You may be surprised seeing your manager or even CEO interacting in a friendly manner with the rest of the team and being seen as part of it. It is also common to refer to them by their first name and the informal ‘je’.

3. Casual dress code

Business attire can vary depending on the industry, but if you are not working for the government or a higher business circle, even jeans and t-shirts could be an option.

4. Riding the bike to work

You are probably familiar with the stereotype that Dutch kids learn how to ride their bike before learning how to walk. Although this is an exaggeration, it is true that Dutch people are used to riding their bike almost everywhere. Regardless of the weather your Dutch co-workers will most probably ride their bike to work daily and if you are a fan of the healthy lifestyle, this could be your new healthy habit.

5. Lunch breaks

You may also be surprised by this Dutch office lunch habit. Dutch employees usually keep their lunch break very brief, they eat light (even a sandwich or a small salad) and they may even have their lunch behind their desk. At the same time, each company may have its own lunch traditions, which means that while most days the employees are having their sandwich or salad, they are ordering sushi on ‘sushi Thursdays’ or satay on ‘satay Fridays’ etc.

6. The vrijmibo

The vrijmibo or vrijdagmiddagborrel (good luck with pronouncing this) means Friday afternoon drinks and in most Dutch companies it is a must. Dutch people work hard all week and on Fridays they can shut down their computers early and head out to the office kitchen or bar to enjoy some drinks with their colleagues. Even in times of lockdown due to Covid, when many employees had to work from home, online vrijmibo via Zoom meetings became a thing.

7. No extended working hours

Finally, the Netherlands is also known for its work-life balance. Dutch people have structured agendas and at the end of the office hours (usually 5 p.m.) they leave the office in order to be home on time for family dinner, or to go to the gym, hang out with their friends or simply relax at home watching Netflix.

That being said, it should be clarified that work culture can vary between different companies and overgeneralizations should be avoided. We have highlighted the typical Dutch office habits which usually surprise our expat clients but you will always find more interesting and surprising aspects of Dutch office culture.

If you have more office-related or business-related questions or you are simply curious to discover more tips before your first day at work in the Netherlands, Jimble is here to help. Head over to our contact page and schedule an appointment with one of our skilled experts to discuss all your questions extensively.

Relocating to the netherlands

How to relocate your employees or company to the Netherlands? A complete guide

By | Corporate support

Are you thinking of relocating employees or your company office to the Netherlands? Due to the multilingual nature, international business focus, educated workforce and public transportation, the Netherlands is the perfect place to serve the European market. To make your move as smooth as possible, we have created a complete (company) relocation guide for you.

International destination service provider in Amsterdam

As an Amsterdam based relocation agency we understand what you, your company or employees need to relocate to and integrate into the Netherlands. We offer a wide variety of expat services to make any move as smooth as possible. Get in touch with us, get a free consultation and jumpstart your relocation. Need more information? Download our free relocation playbook

The relocation process – do your research

Moving to the Netherlands should be stress-free and something to look forward to. But where do you start? Effective planning and absorbing all there is to know about your new destination is vital. Get insights and essential destination information about: 

  • The (local) housing market
  • Registrations and (work) permits
  • Taxes and regulations
  • Moving and logistics
  • The healthcare system
  • Integration

Home finding

Before you move, you will obviously need to find the right place to live. Or maybe your company needs a new office to work from. It completely depends on which area of the Netherlands you’re moving to in terms of how difficult it is to find the perfect spot. 

Are you moving for example to the North of the Netherlands? Prepare yourself to have all the space you want! If you’re moving to Amsterdam, you’ll discover that the amount of available and fitting properties gets smaller. It can be quite challenging to find a home in and around the big city’s of the Netherlands. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Are you looking for temporary or long term accommodation? 
  • Are you looking for a property to buy? 
  • Where do you, your employees or company need to be located? 

Need help? Our relocation advisors know the local Dutch property market to a T. Schedule a free consultation with our experts to discuss your needs! 

Arrange work permits and visa

For everyone relocating to the Netherlands, in order to get past passport control at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, you’ll need to arrange your work permit and visa. You will be able to find all necessary information in our blog about work permits and visas or on the Dutch permits page of the government website.

Moving stuff from A to B

As if moving yourself isn’t hard enough, you’ll also need to move your complete household. That’s why we offer dependable and hassle-free moving services at Jimble. We not only move your stuff from point A to point B, we also develop a customized moving plan that makes your life as easy and secure as possible. 

Get to know the Dutch healthcare system

The Dutch healthcare system is divided into three compartments:

  • Long-term care for chronic conditions.
  • Basic and essential medical care, from GP visits to short-term hospital stays and specialist appointments or procedures.
  • Supplementary care (e.g. dental care, physiotherapy, cosmetic procedures).

The first step in healthcare in the Netherlands is to purchase a Dutch healthcare insurance. Everyone in the Netherlands has to purchase at least a base level of insurance and this must be done within the first four months of arrival. The next step is to registrate at a local dentist and a doctors practice. 

Childcare and schooling options

Are you or your employees making the move to the Netherlands with kids? The education system in the Netherlands might be different from the one you are used to. It pays to do your homework. Give children the best start in their new home by choosing the right school! 

Integration and settling-in the Netherlands

Integrating into a new country can be daunting. Luckily the Netherlands is known for its international minded culture. Rarely will you find someone who doesn’t speak English. Interested in learning the Dutch language or learning everything there is to know about the Dutch culture? There are numerous language classes to choose from. 

Let us help you relocate to the Netherlands 

Relocating to the Netherlands can be intimidation at first. But no worries, we are here to help. Head over to our relocation services page and learn more. Or get in touch and schedule in a free consultation with one of our experts to discuss your situation. Relocating to the Netherlands has never been easier with Jimble.

Reduce relocation costs

4 ways to reduce relocation costs

By | Corporate support

Relocating your employees to the Netherlands is a complex and diligent process. There is a wide array of things that’ll need to get sorted, think about logistics of goods, settling-in and of course the actual move itself. Relocating your employees is an investment, so you want to make sure you keep everything as cost effective as possible. We share 4 tips on how to reduce relocation costs!

1. Offer an attractive relocation program

Before you start looking into potentially relocating employees, you should consider the relocation program you’re offering. What kind of home finding solutions do you provide, are you offering them Dutch language training after they’ve settled in? Ultimately, you don’t want to invest in employees to later find out that they’re pulling out because of your outdated relocation policy. 

Ask yourself if it’s competitive enough in comparison to your competitors. Would you want to move under your own relocation program? If the answer is no, it’s time to update your policy.

2. Keep your policy up to date

Once you’ve updated your policy, it’s important to keep it up to date. There might be certain trends that emerge in the relocation field that you don’t want to miss out on. After all, it’s essential to keep your relocation program attractive for your current and future employees.

3. Reduce relocation costs with caps

Relocation can often lead to unforeseen costs. It’s also common to compensate for costs of living adjustments and occuring exceptions. In order to keep relocation costs at bay it’s a good idea to introduce caps. In that way employees feel supported, while your costs don’t spiral out of control. Sounds like a win-win, right?

4. Hire a relocation agency

It might be that you have no experience with relocation, or you simply don’t have the time and internal resources for it. That’s where Jimble comes in. We take all of your stress away and offer hassle-free relocation services in the Netherlands. Moving and logistics? Check. Settling-in services? Check. Integration services? Check.

Stop wasting time and money and hire a dedicated team to take care of the relocation of your employees. Lets talk about your relocation situation. Contact us

Visas and work permits in the Netherlands

What work permits do employees in the Netherlands need and how to apply

By | Corporate support

You’ve found the perfect employees abroad and want to start working with them sooner rather than later. But before you can fly them over, you’ll need to figure out what kinds of work permits you have to obtain for them. It completely depends on the length you’re planning to hire your employees when it comes to the type of work visa they’ll need.

Work permits and visas in the Netherlands

Work permits in the Netherlands are divided into permanent and temporary visas. In order to obtain these different types of permits you need to deal with institutions such as UWV (Employee Insurance Agency) and IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Services). Luckily these are both organizations that are easy to get in contact with. The IND even has a seperate hotline for Brexit, if you’re dealing with employees that are moving from the UK.

Less than 90 days in the Netherlands

Are you planning to hire your employees for less than 90 days? If so, you can obtain a work permit for your staff through the UWV. They will be able to use the permit for a maximum of 1 year. After this period of time, your company can apply for a renewal.

The single work permit

If your employees are staying longer than 3 months in the Netherlands, you will have to apply for a combined residence and work visa. This single permit can be obtained through the IND and allows your staff to work and live in the Netherlands.

The permanent basis of this document means that your employees will need to fully relocate to the Netherlands. You can find tips on how to do this cost effectively in our blog about how to reduce relocation costs

At Jimble we offer tailored employee and expat relocation support, so that your staff seamlessly integrates in their new country. You can find everything about our relocation and expat support on our website.

Temporary projects

It’s also possible to hire employees on a temporary basis if the work doesn’t compete with labour supply from the Netherlands and the EU. In this case you won’t need to apply for a work permit, but you do need to get in touch with the UWV to get the project approved. 

Apply for a work permit or work visa in the Netherlands

Are you curious what Jimble can do for you? Go to our FAQ page or get in touch!

Biking culture in the Netherlands

By | Culture

There isn’t a country in the world that has a cycling culture like we do in the Netherlands. Children here start cycling at a very young age and in a city like Amsterdam, there are actually more bikes than there are people. Cycling is the number one way to get around in the Netherlands, and there isn’t a single person who doesn’t know how to cycle.

The Dutch infrastructure for bike’s

What will surprise most expats is that the Netherlands has amazing infrastructure for bikes. Separate bike lanes are the norm all over the Netherlands, and they include traffic lights and many other traffic signs specifically directed towards cyclists.

Drive your kids to school on a bike

It is perfectly normal and acceptable to drive your kids and babies to school or daycare on your bike. Whether they are in a special seat on their parents bike or being transported in a “cargo bike” parents don’t tend to use bike helmets and a lot of their children don’t either. The use of bike helmets is not mandatory in the Netherlands, but of course it is recommended for small children.

Buying or leasing a bike?

When it comes to getting a bike to use there are many options. For first time bike owners it would be smart to buy a good second hand bicycle. If you decide you prefer a more low maintenance option, you can also choose to lease a bicycle in many of the bigger cities. The lease option is also available for companies who would like to offer bicycles as a green and healthy option for their staff to commute to the office.

How to bike in the Netherlands

As we have now been able to establish, bike culture is huge in the Netherlands. Our children learn how to cycle at a very young age, and most Dutch people are very comfortable using their bikes in traffic. We know this probably isn’t the case for most expats, and therefore we went on a search for people who can provide cycling lessons to adults.

These lessons are for beginners and advanced cyclists and they don’t necessarily teach you how to bike, but they do teach you how to bike in Dutch traffic. Essentially, it just helps you get comfortable in traffic.

How can we help?

Are you considering a job in The Netherlands right now and are you not sure how to get around? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands and want to offer them bicycles as a means of transportation? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary information and assistance. For more information on how we can help, check out our e-book.

moving during pandemic

How do you move internationally during a pandemic

By | Expats

The short answer: with great difficulty

But there are ways to make a move like this easier.

Moving internationally is never an easy thing

There are a million and one things that need to be taken care of at the best of times. Moving during a pandemic becomes even more complicated due to new rules and regulations which are often very different from one country to another.

What to do now?

With the current pandemic going on you don’t just need the correct immigration papers to move, but you also need proof that you’ve very recently been tested and that you aren’t sick. You still need to quarantine and you need to travel responsibly with a mask on. You also need to know where to find the local measures to help overcome the pandemic so that you know what is happening at your destination. The whole thing is just A LOT!

We have the solution!

This is where the help from a destination service provider comes in very handy. They navigate the local rules and have quick and accurate information at hand, which is ever changing in a pandemic. Since the rules differ per country, having a local to give you the answers you need, significantly reduces stress during these already stressful times.

Up to date information

Your relocation consultant can explain the up to date situation at your destination. Whether it comes to where to get furniture and appliances whilst stores are closed during a pandemic lockdown, to whether or not schools are open for children to attend or if you simply need to know how the items that are moving with you can be shipped during a pandemic; your relocation consultant is up to date and can assist at any time.

How can we help you move during the pandemic?

Are you considering a job in The Netherlands right now? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands during this pandemic? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance during these strange times. For more information on how we can help, check out our e-book.

living in the netherlands after brexit

Life in The Netherlands after Brexit

By | Expats

On 31 January 2020, Brexit was officially set in motion and with that the transition period until 31 December 2020 commenced. In the so-called Withdrawal Agreement (WA), all of the agreements made have been specified. Are you a UK national and currently living in The Netherlands, or planning on relocating to The Netherlands? Let us inform you about where you can find all necessary information on which steps to take.

Find general information about living in The Netherlands as a U.K. national after Brexit here.

Brexit timeline 2020 in short

January, 2020 

Brexit bill is a deal as per January 31st with a transition period until December 31st

January 31st, 2020 

The U.K. leaves the E.U. and the Withdrawal Agreement becomes active

December 31st, 2020 

The official transition period ends. This automatically makes every U.K. national a non-EU member.

January 1st, 2021 

The new relationship starts to form between the E.U. and the U.K.

Apply now for your (temporary or permanent) residence permit! 

  • If you are about to relocate to The Netherlands as a U.K. national, you will now need to apply for a visa. Through this form, you can apply for a temporary residence permit as a first step of your future move. We recommend you reach out to an immigration specialist to inform you about the exact steps you need to take in your specific situation.
  • A different procedure applies if you have been a Dutch resident long before the Brexit completion date. The IND (the national naturalisation and immigration department) has invited all U.K. nationals to exchange their residence document for a new version in line with the newly instated Brexit regulations. You find all information available on a permanent residence permits.
  • The following link provides information on when your family is planning on relocating together with you.

How can we help?

Are you considering a career in The Netherlands? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance. Make sure to check out our e-book or our socials for more information on how we can assist you.

dutch hapiness

Become part of one of the happiest societies on Earth

By | Culture

There is more than one reason why expanding to The Netherlands can benefit your company. We believe that moving your staff to one of the happiest countries in the world is most certainly one of them.

Dutch happiness survey

In the 2020 World Happiness Report (Helliwell et al., 2020), The Netherlands rated the 6th happiest country in the world, of a total of 153 surveyed countries. 

Happiness is quite a complex phenomenon to measure. Everyone experiences happiness in a different way. We have named just a few factors that positively affect the overall happiness on the Dutch work floor.

Working like the Dutch

The Dutch are known for having a no-nonsense and down-to-earth attitude. They appreciate you “just being your own authentic self”. This stimulates an open work culture where communication flows freely between every layer of the organisation’s hierarchy.

Living like the Dutch

The work-life balance tends to be one of the Dutch’ highest priorities. Having a successful career is important and efficiency is highly valued, but this shouldn’t come at the cost of one’s free time. The Dutch make sure to save enough time off for their families, friends and hobbies.

Socializing like the Dutch

Even though the Dutch are dedicated workers, they certainly do appreciate socializing with colleagues and friends after hours. This among other things includes our Friday afternoon drinks with the occasional bitterbal and kaasstengel. This is a common occurrence in a lot of Dutch businesses.

How can we help?

Are you considering a career in The Netherlands? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance. Make sure to check out our e-book or our socials for more information on how we can assist you.

Netherlands as hq europe

Choosing The Netherlands as the European HQ for your business

By | Corporate support

Doing business internationally can be highly beneficial to expand and to explore opportunities for growth and development. We suggest you put the Netherlands on your shortlist for some of the following reasons.

Reason 1: location, location, location

Among other things, The Netherlands is well known for its excellent business climate. International corporations flock here with the urge to successfully innovate and build their profits. 

The country has created an outstanding infrastructure with Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam. Companies also enjoy its prime location between major European markets such as Germany, France and the United Kingdom, which facilitates a strong, international network.

Reason 2: local resources

Moreover, there is a high level of local talent to be found here. The Dutch are generally considered to be very proficient in the English language, which helps when it comes to hiring staff, but also when it comes to adapting to life in a new city.

Reason 3: quality over quantity

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the overall quality of life here is considered one of the best in the world. The Netherlands is ranked #6 of the UN’s happiest countries in the world. We are happy to welcome your international staff and we welcome their families with open arms.

How can we help?

Jimble has been witness to the experience of our own expat clients, and feedback on their Dutch adventure has always been exceedingly positive. 

Are you considering starting a business in The Netherlands? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance. Make sure to check out our e-book or our socials for more information on how we can assist you.

Looking for a home? Need help with your employees? Just let us know how we can help out.

Contact us Frequently asked questions +31(0)20 846 6002