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Working in The Netherlands or in Spain? 5 differences

Are you a Dutchie and curious about the differences between working in the Netherlands and Barcelona? Then read on, because we have listed the top 5 biggest differences for you!

This blog is written by Yobbers.

Working in The Netherlands or in Spain? 5 differences

Working hours

The typical 9-5 mentality that we know in the Netherlands is not often seen in Spain. Instead, your working hours in Barcelona depend a lot on the type of company you are going to work for. Are you planning to work within a large, international company


Then your working day will probably start around 9 or 10 o’clock, and will probably end around 7 o’clock in the evening. But if you choose to work for a local Spanish company, you will probably work two shifts of four hours a day with a few hours break in between. This way you have time for a siesta in the afternoon!


Language in the workplace

One of the biggest differences between working in the Netherlands and Barcelona is of course the language. In the Netherlands, Dutch is pretty much always the main language in the workplace. 


In Barcelona, however, English is becoming increasingly important in the workplace, especially at bigger corporations. This is simply because there are so many internationals working in Barcelona! Nevertheless, we advise you to learn some basic words and phrases in Spanish. This is a good way of showing that you want to immerse yourself in the country’s culture and that you are motivated to settle down well in the city. The Spaniards will definitely appreciate this!


The way we usually have lunch in the Netherlands cannot be compared to the way the Spanish have lunch! Lunch is seen as a very important part of the day in Barcelona. There’s a reason why lunch breaks in Spain last a lot longer than those in the Netherlands! In Spain, it is common to go out for lunch at a nice restaurant with your colleagues. Barcelona is a city known for its culinary delights with its amazing restaurants and lovely food markets. So, forget about those packaged sandwiches with cheese or ‘hagelslag’ enjoy the Spanish lifestyle.

Public holidays

Another difference between working in the Netherlands and Barcelona? In Spain, they celebrate many national, Catholic holidays that are not celebrated in the Netherlands. This means you have a lot of extra days off during the year! Epiphany (Reyes Magos), Assumption of Mary (Asunción de la Virgen), All Saints’ Day (Todos los Santos) are just a few of the many holidays celebrated in the city. All these days off are the perfect opportunity to explore the city. Find out our blog about the 11 things you do not want to miss when visiting Barcelona at the end of the blog!


You will probably become aware of the most noticeable cultural differences between the Netherlands and Spain soon after moving. One of these differences has to do with how you are greeted. Spanish people are naturally very open and hospitable. So you can expect a warm welcome at your new job. And thanks to the warmer and sunnier weather in Barcelona, the Spaniards spend much more time outside than the Dutch. Having your coffee in the morning sun before work is the most normal thing in the world in Spain. After work you will often have a drink with your colleagues on a terrace as well. Spaniards enjoy life to the fullest, and so will you, when moving to Barcelona!

About Yobbers

Yobbers is an online recruitment agency that offers you the opportunity go work abroad. We want to inspire you to discover the world and we believe that everyone deserves the chance to work abroad. Take your unique chance to go abroad and grow personally and professionally, make friends all over the world and boost your cv.


Are you curious about the possible job opportunities in Barcelona? Make sure to check out Yobbers for lots of vacancies in Barcelona! Do you have questions or do you simply need some help in finding a great job? Don’t hesitate to ask for help in Yobbers’ live chat!

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