28 Feb Doing business in the Netherlands? 9 Dutch habits you should be aware of(Last Updated On: March 10, 2017)
If you’re doing business in the Netherlands you should be aware of the most common Dutch habits and acct accordingly. As with everything, being there in a foreign country not knowing some of their culture and their habits might get you in emotional trouble. What is interesting about Dutch habits and people? If you want to know, read on.
9 Dutch habits you should consider
3 kisses for strangers
The Dutch people especially like to kiss people they do not know yet. Their logic is counter-intuitive. When you meet strangers in the Netherlands, you give them three kisses. When you have become friends, two kisses. When he/she has become a close friend, you give them only one kiss. Who would have known this unless he spent a bunch of time in the Netherlands? This is one of the Dutch habits you should remember when traveling or doing business there.
Dutch banks only use Maestro cards for all bank accounts, which means no access to MasterCard or Visa. This discourages them from shopping online since Maestro cards do not have account number. This basically means that foreigners who try and purchase anything using Visa or MasterCard are screwed. Furthermore, if one wishes to shop online by leaving the Netherlands, you have to undergo the usual tedious process. Usually this means showing your income from the last 2-3 months, but in the Netherlands it means showing your permanent work contract. Ultimately, you cannot get a MasterCard for the first few years of working in the Netherlands.
4 week days
Working four days per week is a norm in the Netherlands. If you say you want to work more than that, people will think you are weird. Furthermore, when a full time job is pushed, HR will not hesitate to ask you the second time, are you sure? Some might say the best work-life balance happens in the Netherlands, and they would be right. Who wouldn’t want to work only 4 days a week? I surely would enjoy that!
People from the Netherlands are quite attracted to good insurance, may it be health, car, or house. They even have insurance for times when they run out of vegetables. However, the Netherlands is one of the safest places in the world, so they would not really need much insurance in the first place. They do ensure just about everything though.
The norm outside the Netherlands entails people to bring presents and a cake for the celebrant. However, the celebrants are expected to bring the cake and presents for the people to enjoy. You want to party outside? Everyone’s drinks are on you.
Some say Amsterdam is as sunny as London, and that’s not saying much. Even when it is 5 degrees outside, Dutch people will not stop to go out just for that single ray of sun. Some will even arrange their sofas every few minutes just to catch that sun angle right.
Some assume that Dutch people may have an addiction to drugs since they are decriminalized locally. However, the culprit to their addiction really is bread. Most Dutch people love it to the point of eating it at least 3 times a day. Also, they love their sandwiches, but they always eat them with their forks and knives. If you eat them with your bare hands, you will get you stared at.
It is the norm for the Dutch people two have two or even more cycles. One is usually dirty and used, while the other is usually expensive and new. They would use the former to get to work while the latter is only used during the weekends and leisure activities.
“Korting” is king
The Dutch people always enjoy a great “korting”, which means discount. The Dutch always try to save their money, so they never really buy anything that is not discounted. It does not matter if you need that item or not. If you get a bargain from it, it should be bought right away.
There are other Dutch habits but the ones above will get you by without being stared at, no matter if you do business or just travel in the Netherlands.