Due to the support of their maids in taking care of their children and old parents, many working parents in Singapore, particularly mothers, have been able to accomplish a lot and maintain a better work-life balance.
On the other hand, how can employers help their maids achieve work-life balance in a better way? Here are 10 actions employers can take to improve the lives of their maids.
Ways To Make Your Maid’s Life Better
Give your maid a whole day off.
According to MOM, every maid must have at least an off day per month starting from 1 January 2023. In fact, research indicates that taking a break from work increases productivity and improves focus. We feel more driven and love our work more when we have time to relax.
So it will be beneficial to give our maids a whole day off without asking her to complete any work on her rest day. Through this way, not only we show our concern for her and her wellness, our families will gain from her rejuvenation too.
Greet them or respond to their greetings! Reply with “Hello” or “Good morning”.
How do we greet our maids? Just like all of us, maids wish to be treated with respects too. They do wish that their employers would respond to their greetings.
Some of us might not be “morning people” or we could be exhausted from a full day at work. We may also think that there is no need for politeness because we meet each other every day.
Saying “Hello” or “Good morning” to someone can truly help to start off your day positively. We create a far more pleasant environment and promote better interactions when we retain a friendly attitude.
Plan daily and weekly routines ahead.
Make sure your maid is aware of her duties and the outcomes you expect. Discuss and create a timetable and routine with her if she needs help with setting priorities. Don’t forget include breaks for your maid in the schedule too!
By informing your maid about their tasks in advance, it helps them to plan their day and lessens unnecessary stress brought on by frequent, unscheduled activities.
Over time, employers stand to gain from this as well. Greater clarity helps to reduce misunderstandings and conflicts, which will foster a better employer-employee relationship.
Establish effective communication practices and deal with issues professionally.
Employers who is willing to take time and effort to interact with their maids in a clear and pleasant way foster trust, which in turn increases output and morale.
Any issues should be politely discussed with your maid. Be patient to your maid, especially if she is new to Singapore. She might not always understand your patterns and routines, just as you might not always understand hers.
There are a lot of employers feel stressed to “treat maids like their own family”. As ultimately it is an employer-employee relationship, both employers and maids might be confusing. Contrary to popular opinion, most of the maids actually prefer to have a clear boundaries and value employer to be more professional.
By setting clear and professional boundaries, employers and maids can have more open communication and effective conflict solution.
Praise your maids when it is due – have faith in her ability to manage her time and responsibilities well.
In Singapore, a lot of people work long hours and have busy schedules. Some people find it difficult to maintain work-life balance and may bring work-related tension home.
Sometimes, employers might take out their frustration from workplace on their maids. Employers who experience high levels of stress and frustration at work may unintentionally pick at and micro-manage their maids. For a maid, this can be disheartening, especially if it makes them feel like they are not effectively managing their time and responsibilities.
According to research, keeping a grateful mindset can lift our spirits and make us feel more at ease. Find one thing each day that you may be thankful to your maid and focus on her strengths. Having faith that your maid is giving her best and express your appreciation by complimenting her for a job well done.
Her health is important – give your maid enough food.
There are maids quitting their jobs because they don’t get enough food to keep them energized at work. Therefore, employers should check with their maids if her meal quantities are adequate and if she is accustomed to your family’s favorites.
It helps for employers to start the conversation as many maids may not be used to speak out about their needs or worry about offending their employers.
Inquire your maid if she has any dietary restrictions. Allow her to prepare her own meals if she has serious food allergies or doesn’t eat pork.
Allow your maid to rest throughout the day to recover.
According to studies, taking a break is crucial for productivity. Inadequate rest is one of the reason why maids want to terminate their employment contracts. However, many maids appreciate breaks because they are able to recharge from exhaustion after completing household chores.
Just like how our families are important to us, they are important to our maids too. So, allow your maids to have breaks throughout the day to make phone calls to their family, pray and take some rest. You can discuss and create a timetable with breaks in between certain housework together, but leave room for flexibility.
Respect her privacy, especially on her off days.
If your boss or customer are continuously checking on what you’re doing and how do you spend your time on your off days, how would you feel? Or to snoop through your belongings without your permission? You’ll likely be outraged, so do your maid.
Let your maid enjoy her day off by giving them personal space without monitoring them, as this might affect her morale and make her feel disrespected.
Teach your kids to respect your maid.
Set a good example! Take delight in instilling in your kids a sense of respect and appreciation for your maid. Be a role model to your children in your own communications and interactions.
Talk to your kids about how important it is to treat maids with respect and decency, just as you would want them to do with a family member or senior, even when you aren’t there.
Such teachable moments are an effective strategy to help your kids to develop their character.
Give your maid the chance to pursue her passions.
Ask your MDW about her long-term objectives and motivate her to make future plans. Ask her if there is anything you can do to help her. For example, if she wants to take a nursing course and can’t afford, you may offer her an advance payment, or give her time off to attend the course.
These perceptions are critical success elements for a stronger, healthier employer-employee relationship, and we hope they will stimulate open communication and greater understanding between employers and maids! When we make an effort to strengthen our relationship, both our families and the maids gain long-term advantages.