- Elaine Sim
How to effectively manage your Indonesian Helper? l Management tips
Updated: 14 hours ago
Many of us hire Indonesian Helpers to help with work around the house. However, managing a worker that lives with you can be a very different experience from hiring other employees. We explore some common dilemmas household employers like you may have when managing a domestic helper at home.
Common dilemmas: Should I or should I not?💡
1) Whether to allow your helper to hold her own handphone
Helper contacting outsiders
Helper spending too much time on their phones
Helper missing home
Helper's family asking for money
We can all probably agree that none of us can live without a phone these days. It is how we stay connected with loved ones or stay entertained. Instead of restricting phone usage altogether, how about setting some ground rules on handphone usage, such as, requesting helpers to leave their phones in their room while they are working. The safety of your home is always a priority. Establishing some house rules upfront about never inviting strangers to the house, and be firm that this is misconduct that will lead to termination (or criminal charges in the worst cases). There is nothing much employers can do about homesickness or helper's family members asking for money. Employers may offer emotional support or good-will advice, but we do not recommend getting too involved with helper's finances or family issues. Ultimately, allowing helpers handphones helps alleviate loneliness and homesickness that helpers often feel. This will significantly improve your helper's mental health and work productivity.
2) Whether to allow your Indonesian helper to leave the house on her own during her rest day
Where will she go, who will she meet?
Will she be safe?
I prefer her to go out with us only
What we noticed is that every Indonesian helper has different comfort levels with the idea of going out on her own in a foreign place. It would be nice for helpers to have friends within trusted circles to build a sense of community with and have an alternative source of emotional support outside your family. Since helpers are more likely to connect better with other helpers, having this community can be very beneficial for their emotional well-being and help alleviate some homesickness or feeling of loneliness. You may not know this, but some helpers may consider going out with your family on their rest days as work. Again, this differs from each individual so be sure to discuss this with your helper.
3) Whether to allow your Indonesian helper to hold her own passport
I am afraid she might runaway
She might work for someone else under my name! I don't want to risk it.
I want to keep her documents in a safe place
In our experience, whether or not employers hold helpers' passports, helpers who do not intend to stay will still leave the job by absconding, if they feel strongly about it. We also find that holding on to helpers' passports may create distrust and misunderstanding between helpers and employers. We recommend providing helpers with a safe place to keep their own passports. Employers should only safekeep helper's passports on their voluntary request, and this request should always be properly documented. In these situations, helpers should be allowed to access their passports immediately upon request.
Apart from being on the right side of the law, adopting our recommended best practices will surely set you and your helper up for a long term winning employment relationship based on trust! With all employment relationships, there's never 100% guarantee, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. So why not give it a try? 😊
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