Family or career? This has been a tough choice for many. The Dutch might have the answer. Daddy days and job-sharing as well as part-time employment have become quite typical in the Netherlands. Because of these irregular work hours, many companies do not even have assigned cubicles for their employees. Some examples are Microsoft and the Economics Ministry. Both have moved to what is known as "flex-buildings" which are smaller offices with less work stations than employees.

The Netherlands is one of the few developed countries where women are content with working part-time. Many women prefer time off and therefore three out of four women there work less than 30 hours a week. Moreover, very few Dutch women strive to reach the top of the corporate ladder. 

In recent years however this trend has extended to men as well. As the main financial provider of the family, many men can't afford to work only part-time and therefore have found a different solution. They work a full week in four days and take the fifth one off to spend time with the family.

Even though the idea of a part time manager in countries known for long work weeks such as the USA and Japan is still unthinkable, the idea is growing in Europe and sooner or later we will see a tremendous change in workforce all over the world.

For more information on part time work force in the Netherlands, read the New York Times article Working (Part-Time) in the 21st century

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