When comparing construction sites in Japan and the United States, both of them use similar materials and tools, and there are no significant differences.
However, the overall atmospheres at construction sites in the respective countries are completely different. While similar techniques are used, differences in individual and social characteristics emerge in various forms.
I see various scenes on the site in the U.S. which I rarely see in Japan, such as:
・Workmen keep talking and laughing while working
・They do not worry about the details
・They do not deal with complicated tasks
・They clearly voice their opinions
And so on.
While I do appreciate the happy on-site atmosphere without a feeling of tension, workmen in the U.S. unfortunately fall far behind experienced workmen in Japan in terms of the accuracy and speed of work and the overall teamwork. In addition, the difference between a skilled workman and an unskilled workman was much greater than I expected, which means the result could be devastating if I happened to hire a wrong person. What is more, various labor unions make it difficult to manage construction smoothly.
I also hear various stories which I rarely hear in Japan, such as:
・Workmen neglect their duties and do not come to work
・They don’t perform work as specified in the drawings
・They start negotiating for higher wages at the construction site
・Things at the construction site disappear
・A mysterious attorney appears all of a sudden (laughs)
What I assumed to be common practices in Japan do not apply in the United States.
Despite such difficulties, we successfully completed this project, thanks to our great team. When implementing an overseas project, one should think about with whom he/she works very carefully.