If you are looking for reasons to decide to move to the Netherlands, you are in the right place. Whether you want to start a business, study, or go in search of a new professional direction, the country of windmills and tulips is an excellent choice. We at Octagon will tell you why. 

Study and work in English 

According to the European Commission, English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Europe, which is not a surprise. What you might not know is that the Netherlands is the country with the best English skills among the non-native English-speaking countries of Europe, according to the survey conducted by the EF Language Institute for the year 2022

In the Netherlands, it is possible to access education entirely in English from early childhood. Also, most of the universities have programs taught in English. For foreign companies, having access to skilled professionals without language barrier is an important asset. Factors such as efficiency in training and onboarding processes, effective team cooperation, faster international expansion, etc. are important aspects to consider. Having that high density of English language skills, a broader offer of jobs is created for expats who can choose to live and work in the Netherlands. 

Our Octagon Team is a prime example of how this works. Octagon is a company for expats, that is founded by an expat and is run through expats. We are a team built with professionals from all over the world. And with more than 10 different nationalities, we can understand unique cultural practices and values. English is the second language for practically everyone who works here and we feel we are stronger for it! 

Variety of residence permits for your requirements.  

The Netherlands is a country that has a wide variety of residence permits. We have discussed in previous blogs the types of visas and permits that exist.

The Dutch government offers residence permits for students, workers, freelancers, researchers, investors, artists, and more. For further information, please read our blog about visas and permits for the Netherlands here. Depending on your situation we are happy to advise you on the most suitable permit that fits you.

Balance between work and personal life 

If you come from a culture where you are used to working under the pressure of ambitious deadlines with minimal (or no) allowance for personal time, finding a balance between your work and your personal life can be difficult. Of course, many other socio-cultural and economic factors affect this balance.

According to the Serbian crowd-sourced online database, Numbeo, in 2023, the Netherlands ranks as the number one country in the world in terms of quality of life. In the Netherlands, only 0.3% of employees work overtime in paid work. Also, full-time workers devote 64% of their day to personal care and pleasure. Both figures are striking in their way in comparison to the world average obtained by the OECD (The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), an organization in charge of creating and promoting policies that help to improve the quality of life around the world.  

The Dutch way of finding that balance consists of being very productive during working hours but also being very clear with boundaries at work. In addition, the Dutch are extremely organized with their agenda and with planning in advance the leisure activities they want to do in their free time. 

That is why many people choose to come to work and live in Europe, specifically in the Netherlands. 

Great infrastructure and public transportation 

The Netherlands has the privilege of bragging about its high-quality road infrastructure. For us, this is something that deserves to be highlighted.  

In the Netherlands, roads, highways, railways are well maintained. Not only that, but also other structures for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as their signage, are of the highest quality and are strictly up to standard. They are constantly monitored and maintained. The Dutch have specialized in assessing the structural safety and service life of structures. They are also actively working on the development of methods to predict the condition of these infrastructures. In addition, they are currently working to make the transition to more sustainable options by reducing C02 emissions, reusing raw materials, and reducing noise and vibration pollution caused by the current railways.  

And have you seen the illuminated bikepath that gains the power to the lighting by the bikes that make use of it? It is truly an engineering marvel and it shows why the Dutch are at the forefront of innovations. 

Positive working environment with growth opportunities   

The Dutch work culture could be considered by many as disruptive. They have a rather informal way of communicating. In most cases they do not work with hierarchies but with horizontal structures. There is openness to dialogue and processes are much more collaborative.  

There are many positive advantages coming from the Dutch work culture. For example, most companies working in the Netherlands offer an education budget for their employees. The employees can decide whether they want to learn a new language, take an online course, attend lectures related to their job, etc. This helps to nurture their skills and grow within the companies. 

We have had the opportunity to talk with friends and colleagues about the Dutch work culture and have noticed certain important points. Dutch companies are very open to role changes, intending to diversify talents, avoiding boredom, and thus increasing employee engagement. In addition, it is possible to move up or get a better salary without spending years in the same position. The Dutch are committed to rewarding their employees for merit and performance. 

These are just some of the many reasons why the Netherlands is a famous destination for those seeking new horizons. At Octagon, we’re here to help you confidently navigate expat life in the Netherlands! Check our blogs if you are looking for nice recommendations or expert advice from our HR perspective. Whether you’re relocating or supporting expats, our blogs offer valuable tips. Don’t miss out! Continue reading with us to empower your expat journey.  


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