Work-style in a Japanese company
Comparison between Japan and Singapore
Hi, I am Fumi. I had worked in Singapore and came back to Japan last year.
When I was in Singapore, I realized that there are a lot of differences in work-style between Japan and Singapore.
Today I would like to write about the Japanese company’ s work-style.
There are numerous work-style differences between Japan and other countries. But obvious one lies in the fact that Japanese usually work as a team. In a typical Japanese company, employees are expected to perform a wide range of duties as a generalist. For example, if you are hired as an Engineer in a Japanese company and you can read English and Japanese, the company might ask you to translate some documents from Japanese to English. This culture stems from the notion that an organization works together as a team and each team members are supposed to complement each other.
In Singapore, employees generally work strictly according to the job description that they have already agreed upon at the start of the employment. This clear segregation of duty, similar to a production line, creates a highly specialized and efficient workflow.
Incidentally, have you heard the Japanese word ‘nomikai’? Japanese love to go drink after work. ‘nomikai’= drinking party is extremely common among working-class employees. A lot of employees are encouraged to go for drinks after work to ease off some work pressure, at the same time allowing employees to bond with each other, forming close relationships which is beneficial at work.
Singaporeans, on the other hand, have a clearer distinction between work and personal life. Employees very often have after-work activities with their families and friends and generally, do not mingle with their colleagues – especially their bosses – after working hours.
Having worked overseas, I believe regardless of where we work, we should always respect the local culture.
For me, I always live by the quote ‘Go ni ittewa go ni shitagae’ = ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’.
I hope you are interested in working in Japan!