Initial Adjustments of Filipino Maids and Indonesian Maids in Singapore
When foreign domestic helpers leave their home country to work in Singapore, the first few months is their most crucial stage. During their adjustment period, Filipino maids and Indonesian maids need to cope with the new culture, new food, new environment, new language, and the speed of work in Singapore. We want to help you and your Indonesian maid or Filipino maid overcome the adjustment period with ease!
Here are few initial adjustments the maid may undergo while working in the employer’s home.
1. Adjustment to the work speed in Singapore
Both Indonesian maids and Filipino maids have the concept of postponing things and not being on time. In Indonesia, they have the so-called, “Jam Karet” or Rubber Time. Whereas in the Philippines, they have the Maǹana habit and Filipino Time. These are unhealthy habits that would hinder the maids to be productive.
Singapore is a fast-paced country and everyone values time. To help the Indonesian maid and Filipino maid have the same mindset, employers may let the maid follow a daily working schedule and set a strict deadline for each cleaning project or task. Don’t put that much pressure, though. Always make it clear that this training would also be beneficial for her as an individual.
2. Adjustment to the new culture in Singapore
The way we do things is directly affected by our culture and beliefs. Filipino maids, for example, would take a bath once or twice in an ordinary day in the Philippines. Employers would probably get shocked on the change of their water bills! On the other hand, Indonesian maids are known to be shy and sometimes anti-social in some situations. Employers may need to reach out to them to get to know them better.
The maid’s culture can be far different from that of the employers in Singapore. However, all it takes is time and good training for them to adapt!
3. Adjustment to the new food
Filipino maids are rice-eaters which means rice and viand are their staple food for 3 meals a day. The bread-and-coffee Singaporean breakfast every morning is a little bit challenging to them and most maids would admit that their work performance is negatively affected by their new diet. Because of this, it is best to stick to their usual diet during their adjustment period, then gradually introduce new meals until their metabolism gets used to it.
4. Adjustment to the new environment
It would take time for maids to adjust to high-rise living, MRTs, and long walks. They lived in a country where public utility vehicles can load and unload passengers everywhere and “Becak” or “traysikad” is always accessible to avoid walking long distance. Marketing and sending the children to school can be difficult for them at first so don’t be surprised if it took some time for her to buy vegetables for dinner!
We suggest employers to accompany their Filipino maids or Indonesian maids in their first marketing experience. Be the guide and try to give her the basic directions until she can manage to do things on her own.
5. Adjusting to the new language.
Most expats in Singapore would agree that Singaporeans talk fast. Indonesian maids who have little English language background may take time to comprehend her employer’s instructions. Filipino maids are also used to American English in the Philippines where “Dine in” is used instead of “Having here” and flats are called “apartments”. Not to mention the difference in the accent and the different context of some words.
First-time employers must be ready for some repetitive instructions and thorough one on one conversations with the new maid.
Through enough training, time, and practice, the Indonesian maid and Filipino maid can overcome the initial adjustments. In the end, employers would get the fruit of being patient in training their own maids! If you’re blessed with an ex Singapore maid, then the adjustment period is less difficult.
The family’s health and safety should be the top priority. Eden Grace Maids Agency offers maid services which will help us secure our children’s safety when we’re not around. The choice to hire a maid who can take care of the tiring household chores and things we cannot handle on our own will definitely be a plus point!