Philippines is one of the biggest exporters of skilled labour. Filipinos thrive in many fields of the workforce across the globe. They are seafarers, nurses, construction workers globally, and domestic helpers in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. They are sometimes dubbed the ‘backbone of the new global workforce’.
In Singapore, domestic workers make up a whapping 17% of the total workforce and close to half of this number is composed of Filipino live-in maids.
Why are the Filipinos workers so popular across the world ?
Generally people love them because they can speak and understand English and are warm and friendly. They value strong family ties, which is something that drives them to work abroad in the first place, to work hard for the family.
The importance of good communication
When the employer and the live-in maid understand each other, openness will easily follow. When there are communication and openness, a good relationship with each other will quickly sprout if both parties allow. Live-in maids who are first-timers may not be used to talking with foreigners with different cultural traits, pronunciation and intonation however. Miscommunication happens between the Filipino maid and employer if one doesn’t speak out and would only make assumptions. Hence attention is required to ensure a healthy information and communication flow. Every household is different and so the learned ways before may not work for the house of the new employer. It’s just fair and practical to teach the Filipino maid first how things work in her new workplace.
Filipino maids are friendly and value family ties
Friendliness is an evident trait for most Filipino maids. They are always coined as ‘hospitable’ and ‘welcoming’. This is a great benefit of live-in Filipino maids in taking care of children and the elderly in Singapore. Filipino maids, when they are comfortable with the people around them, are quite sociable too. Wanting to be together as a family is a common Asian trait and a tradition that survived through time. This Filipino trait may affect the Filipino maid’s work in 2 ways: Filipino maids would be concerned about their families in their home country so much that they would work hard in Singapore thinking about giving a better future for the children. Or Filipino maids would miss their families, not getting used to being separated from them, deciding not to finish her contract in Singapore. The Filipino maid can use her strong family tie as a strength or it can prevent her from accomplishing her goals.
Employers can help prevent homesickness by letting the Filipino maid in Singapore communicate with their family back in the Philippines after a long day of work. They will feel recharged for the next day’s work knowing she’s still somehow connected to her family.
They are hardworking and can multitask.
There is no denying that Filipino maids are fast-learners, hardworking, and are multitaskers. Some of them are degree-holders in their home country and worked in different jobs before. Their versatility is the reason why Filipino caregivers can take care of the elderly and do the chores at the same time and Filipino nannies can become tutors and housekeepers. However, they can only perform different tasks when they are taught well or have undergone training.
Their sociable side can also get them in a bind sometimes. A Filipino would have to be forgiven to also easily talk strangers—a quality that can be great, but sometimes a disadvantage since they may overshare information. Many employers are conscious when it comes to letting their live-in maids mingle
with other maids. Employers must discuss this with the helper and teach them they must be careful, therefore, to use their friendliness in a good way by choosing the places they want to go to during their off days and the people they interact with.
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