Dutch workers strive for a better work-life balance and a healthier lifestyle in 2021

5 January 2021


Almost one-third of Dutch workers hope to improve their work-life balance in the new year. People working from home also plan to take more breaks and exercise more. And they want to enhance their workstation setup, because three-fourths of respondents believe that working from home is here to stay. These are the most notable results of the extensive annual New Year’s Survey conducted by online pension administrator BeFrank.

The outcome of the same survey conducted by BeFrank a year ago was starkly different. At that time, Dutch workers primarily wanted to invest in themselves by taking classes and undergoing further training. Of course, achieving a better work-life balance was also on the agenda last year, except that no one could have predicted then that working from home would become so important for many people, and that this, in turn, would make the work-life separation so much more blurred. The aim for a better balance increased from 25% to 30% for the upcoming year. ‘That’s understandable,’ says Jan Hein Rhebergen, Commercial Director of BeFrank. ‘So many people had to make enormous adjustments. Working from home became the norm overnight. But working from home appears to be popular and the plan to work from home more increased from 12% to 17%. Rhebergen is pleased with people’s ambition to invest in their own development. Next year, 25% of workers want to take a class through work and 15% outside of work.

Healthier lifestyle, more breaks and more social contact
The survey shows that the trend among workers to pursue a healthier lifestyle at work continues. About one-fifth of respondents want to work on this goal in the coming year. Of those who already worked from home in 2020, around 40% want to set aside more time for exercise. And over one-third want to take breaks more frequently in order to forget about work for a bit. ‘Each and every one of these is an encouraging result. Staying healthy is more important than ever because everyone’s resilience is being tested to the maximum.’

The fact that the desire for social contact also increased, from 15% to 19%, ties in well with a greater focus on health, according to Rhebergen. ‘We are encouraging people to stay financially, mentally and physically fit. A good social network has a favourable effect on health. I sincerely hope that everyone is successful in achieving this goal during these challenging times,’ says Rhebergen.

What do the plans look like with regard to working from home in 2021?
⊳ More than 20% want to make their home office a nicer place to work.
⊳ 27% want to create a better setup in their home office by paying attention to their sitting posture, lighting and comfort.
⊳ 10% want to focus on work even more in 2021 and not do household chores between work tasks.

Greater focus on sustainability
In a year when the world turned fairly upside down for most people, the focus on sustainability is increasing unabated. Meanwhile, 55% of respondents find it important for the organisation for which they work to commit to sustainable business operations. The same percentage of respondents rate the organisation where they work as more sustainable than five years ago. Last year, this number was just over 46%. And some 70% of respondents feel strongly about their job being meaningful and contributing to society.

Rhebergen is very pleased that the focus on sustainability has increased. ‘That motivates us to work on new ways to invest pension capital. For example, we are the first Dutch pension administrator to offer a CO2-neutral pension scheme. The CO2 footprint of the invested pension capital is rendered CO2-neutral through reforestation and it’s very popular. It appears the time is ripe for these types of sustainable initiatives.’

About the survey
BeFrank commissioned Panelwizard to conduct a survey in December 2020 among 1,044 Dutch workers aged 25 years and older.

About BeFrank
BeFrank has been active in the collective pension market since 2011 and is the first Premium Pension Institution (PPI) in the Netherlands. BeFrank offers online pension services, clear communication and innovative services. BeFrank is a subsidiary of the NN Group.

For more information, please contact:
Isabelle van Ast | E-mail: | Tel: 020 5621118.