Working as an OFW abroad requires a series of adjustments – to the culture, environment, food, schedule, and most importantly with your employers.
Since you will be living in the same household and working for your employer, it’s in your best interest to get along with them and to develop a healthy working relationship if you wish to stay longer in your work as a domestic helper here in Singapore.
Disclaimer: The information published is based on the experience shared by the vlogger/YouTuber. The information provided may change without prior notice and may differ in actual scenarios. Let this article serve as a guide only.
Here is the video guide shared by a Filipina domestic helper in Singapore, Jhin, a.k.a. YAYA JHIN on YouTube. If you find her tips helpful, you may check out her YouTube channel to catch more interesting content about her work and life as an OFW in Singapore.
Useful Tips to Build a Healthy Relationship with your Employer in Singapore
According to Jhin, not all employers in Singapore are well off (rich). Most of them require help in the household from a domestic helper so they can focus on their work and provide for their family’s needs such as food, utility, rent, tuition, and many more.
If you understand this at the onset of your work, you can better perform your role and provide the support that they need, but if it’s your first time working as a domestic helper in Singapore, here are some tips which you might find useful in building a healthy work relationship with your employers.
Tip #1. Be polite and respectful.
The first tip is quite simple and obvious, to begin with, but it is one of the most important things to remember when working as a domestic helper overseas.
Being polite means addressing your employers using “Sir” or “Ma’am”. This also applies if you have an elderly, as in the case of most Asian households in Singapore. Being respectful means being on time, courteous, and prompt when your employers make requests or give you instructions on how to do your work.
You have to understand that some employers have a specific way of working around the house. When you pay attention to those small details, that is one way of showing your respect for them. Another way is by the quality of your work or service you provide as a domestic helper.
If you are tasked to look after the kids or an elderly family member, do your best at your job and treat them as if they are your own family. By doing so, you can ensure that you are providing the best service or the highest quality of work you can offer your employers.
Tip #2. Always smile.
As expected there might be some levels of language barriers when you start working abroad as a domestic helper. But one thing’s for certain, every person can understand a genuine smile. Where applicable, make it a habit to smile when you deal with your employer/s and every member of their family. Greet them accordingly.
And when you get in a discussion or an argument, do not confront your employers. Try to understand what they are trying to tell you and take it constructively. According to Jhin, some employers come home very late, tired, and stressed from work, if they get irritated or annoyed by the smallest things, or especially when the house is not in order, do not take it personally. Instead, do your best to manage the household as effectively as you can so that they won’t get more stressed when they come home.
Tip #3. Be proactive.
If you’re new in Singapore, your employer would usually teach you how to do things around the house, but after that, you must stick to the schedule they provide and do things on your own. If it helps, you can ask for a list of things that you need to do every day so that you can better organize your tasks and make sure that you take care of all their needs in the house in the most timely and efficient way possible.
If you know your role in the household, you should not wait for your employer to make demands and tell you what to do because your role is to take care of their needs which typically includes keeping the house clean, taking care of the laundry, doing the dish, feeding and cleaning the kids and/or looking after an elderly family member.
According to Jhin, you should know your priorities at work, if there are kids in the house, your priority is to take care of them and make sure they are healthy and safe. The same thing applies if you’re hired to take care of an elderly person in the family. If you know your duties and priorities, you wouldn’t have much problem dealing with your work in your employer’s household. Another tip is to avoid being timid, lousy, or slow in your feet. People in Singapore live fast-paced lifestyles. You will notice this right away once you get there. So, do your best to be snappy, alert, and proactive with your work.
Tip #4. Respect your employer’s religion.
Singapore is one of those countries with highly diverse cultures. Depending on the household you are assigned to, you will get to work with employers with a culture and religion that are different from yours. And the most important thing is to respect their beliefs and practices. If you are not used to what they are doing, you can let them know but you must observe and learn from them so that you would know how to act accordingly next time. As you know, respect comes in many different forms, and understanding each other’s differences is a sign of respect.
Tip #5. Maintain open communication.
And finally, practice effective and open communication with your employers. Aside from greeting them, take the initiative to start a simple conversation. You can ask them how they are doing or how was their day at work. Remember, the primary goal of doing all these things is to gain your employer’s trust.
To achieve that, open communication is highly essential. You do not have to speak fluent English to be able to communicate effectively. In fact, most of the things you do while at work or outside of work will communicate if you are someone whom they can trust and keep in the family for a longer period.
As you can tell, much of the things we shared are basic attitudes that you would like to see in an employee or a person whom you can trust your family with.
Are there any more tips that you would like to add to those we’ve shared? If you’ve worked as an OFW, how do you ensure that you build a healthy working relationship with your employer? Let us know by leaving a comment in the section below!