How the Dutch Have Embraced Flexible Work

The Netherlands has always been an incredibly forward-thinking country when it comes to its implementation of Big Data solutions.

From defending itself from the effects of climate change to improving and enhancing public policy, the region has never shied away from innovation through Data & Analytics.

In 2019, it was reported that the Netherlands contributed 18 per cent of the market share of Data, coming in second to Germany. And with a continued focus on Data, Big Data, and Analytics to enhance the region’s capabilities, the Netherlands’ Data Centre Market size is expected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4 per cent between 2019 – 2025.

But, of course, the pandemic stopped many in their tracks and slowed progress in the Data & Analytics industry for nearly a year. Companies had to adapt to the ‘new normal’ very quickly and survival was at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Here’s how the past 18 months have changed the Data & Analytics industry and what the future of the Netherlands’ workforce may look like.

Flexible Work in the Netherlands Has Been Embraced By Some

The Netherlands trailblazed ahead of its EU counterparts regarding flexible working pre-pandemic. According to a report in the BBC, before COVID-19 struck only 4.7 per cent of the working population in the UK had any sort of working-from-home capability.

This number grows by 10 per cent for the Netherlands with nearly one-fifth of workers from the region reporting to work away from the office regularly. However, compared to current levels of working from home, the 14.1 per cent of home-workers in the Netherlands pre-pandemic seems particularly small. In 2020, 3.7 million people did some or all of their work from home.

But is this trend here to stay? Most certainly for Dutch-run companies, or those businesses with a large Dutch presence. With the extremely relaxed culture in the region, working from home has been embraced and the number of days working from home hasn’t been limited.

However, the story is different for those companies who are based in the Netherlands but may have a strong presence elsewhere, such as the UK and the US.

These companies have been a little more hesitant to make remote working a fluid asset, many have instead settled for a hybrid working model with most settling on a three-day in-the-office and two days at-home set-up.

Salaries Have Been Lifted But Businesses Are Struggling

Like most countries and regions globally, the Data & Analytics market in the Netherlands has become incredibly candidate-led, especially since the beginning of 2021. The number of vacancies compared to candidates stands at a never-seen-before disparity and the competition for talent is rife.

According to Harnham’s most recent EU salary guide, the average salary increase sought from employees and candidates alike this year was 15 per cent. However, the salary increase received stood at 14 per cent. Budgets for many businesses in the Netherlands were slashed heavily because of the pandemic and this current recruitment market is proving difficult – especially for the smaller companies.

The Netherlands Leads the Way to Recovery

The Netherlands has always been a progressive region, especially in terms of giving employees and candidates the opportunity to relocate seamlessly as well as impressive benefits packages to entice foreign talent. Uniquely to any other EU country, the Netherlands have a 30 per cent ruling.

For the first five years in The Netherlands, you pay a 30 per cent reduced income or working tax on the same salary. Additionally, the region offers newcomers a Highly Skilled Migrants (HSM) Visa which helps talent move which many companies will sponsor the cost of. By having such an open route to work in the Netherlands, not only is the region encouraging the further creation of a diverse workforce, but it is also providing a solution to the growing skills gap in the industry.

COVID-19 has been a turbulent time for all in the Netherlands, but it’s clear that the region is well set up for the ‘new normal’ and that a lot of the change over the past 18 months has been met with positivity.

We look forward to what comes next. If you’re looking for your next opportunity in the Netherlands or want to build out a Dutch data team, we can help.

Take a look at our Netherlands Data jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

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