Managing a household in Singapore can be challenging, especially when juggling work, family, and personal commitments. Hiring a helper can be a great solution to help you maintain a clean and organized home. However, to ensure a harmonious working relationship with your helper, it’s essential to set clear guidelines and expectations right from the start. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to manage expectations effectively and establish clear guidelines for your maid in the Singapore context.

Understanding the Maid Employment Landscape

Before diving into setting guidelines, it’s important to understand the context of hiring a helper in Singapore. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has specific regulations and guidelines governing the employment of Migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Singapore. These regulations cover areas such as salary, working hours, rest days, and more. Familiarizing yourself with these regulations will help you set realistic expectations and ensure compliance with the law. If you are a first time employer, attending the Employer Orientation Program ( would set things in the right perspective.

Define Duties and Responsibilities Clearly

One of the first steps in managing expectations is to define the duties and responsibilities of your maid clearly. Outline the specific tasks you expect them to perform, such as cleaning, cooking, laundry, eldercare or childcare. Be as detailed as possible to avoid any misunderstandings later on.

Discuss Working Hours and Rest Days

In Singapore, helpers are entitled to a mandatory weekly rest day and should have 8 hours of sleep per day. Discuss and agree on the working hours upfront, ensuring they align with the legal requirements set by MOM. Clarify how work hours will be handled.

Set Communication Channels

Effective communication is key to a successful working relationship. Decide on the preferred communication channels with your helper, whether it’s through daily briefings, written notes, or messaging apps. Encourage open communication and let your helper know that they can approach you with any concerns or questions they may have.

Discuss Privacy and Boundaries

Respect for privacy and personal boundaries is crucial when sharing your home with a helper. Discuss and set clear guidelines on areas that are off-limits or private, such as bedrooms or personal belongings. Establishing these boundaries early on will help maintain a respectful and professional relationship.

Provide Training and Feedback

To ensure your helper meets your expectations, provide them with proper training and orientation. Walk them through your home, explain your cleaning preferences, and demonstrate any specific tasks. Encourage feedback and be open to providing constructive criticism to help them improve.


Managing expectations and setting clear guidelines for your helper is essential for a harmonious and productive working relationship. By understanding the work permit guidelines, defining duties clearly, discussing working hours and rest days, setting communication channels, establishing privacy and boundaries, and providing training and feedback, you can create a positive environment for both you and your maid.

Remember, a well-defined and respectful relationship with your helper will not only make your life easier but also contribute to their job satisfaction and well-being. Invest the time and effort in setting clear guidelines, and you’ll reap the benefits of a cleaner, more organized home and a happy, motivated helper.