Dutch home office not yet reality

5th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

Ideally, Dutch workers would like to work from home and schedule their own hours for a better family life.

THE HAGUE—Employees would most like to work from home, or schedule their own working hours to better combine work with family life. In practice this doesn’t work out, however.

Those were the results of a study released on Thursday conducted by Youth and Family Minister André Rouvet.

The researchers were surprised that employees didn’t consider better childcare, more flexible leave after the birth of a child, or broader school and créche hours as solutions to family life.

A study by the University of Utrecht revealed that there are many laws in existence that should make it easier to combine work with family life, but that companies are often not in favour of implementing them. Employees who show their faces less often in the office or factory are viewed as less ambitious.

Companies aren’t convinced that family-friendly work policies deliver any benefits. The costs that longer office hours and investments in ICT bring with them haven’t been weighed against the benefits of flex-time, which include higher productivity, lower turnover, and fewer sick days.

Minister Rouvoet believes that a cultural change is needed before family life and work can be optimally combined. The government can create more options for childcare, and offer better after school activities. Parental leave should also be arranged to better suit the needs of employees.

ANP/Lila Lundquist/Expatica

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