3 Tips to Help Your MDW Connect with Her Family During the Covid-19 Pandemic
The recent Mid-Autumn festival was a special time of getting together with family and close friends. As we enjoyed the reunion, there were as many as 370,000 Migrant domestic workers (MDW) in HK who had not been able to be home to see their families for almost 2 years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of these MDW are mothers who left their children back in their home countries to work in Hong Kong, ensuring they receive a fair start in life, and a brighter future. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many go back home once a year to spend time with their children. With the prolonged separation due to the pandemic, many migrant moms have been expressing their homesickness, and the longing to see their children.
When employees are not feeling their best emotionally, it affects their work performance and productivity. Studies show that happier employees work harder, work better with others and are generally more productive. How could employers show concern and support their workers during this challenging time when they cannot be with their families? Here are 3 practical tips.
1. Encourage your MDW to have regular breaks throughout the day to connect with her family
Plan a schedule together with your MDW, and include short breaks in between certain tasks. Allow a bit of flexibility. This would help many MDWs stay connected with their family. It is common for many of their young children and elderly parents to be asleep by the time they finish their working day.
2. Consider sponsoring a care package for your MDW's family – particularly during the festive season such as christmas and Eid al-Fitr
Many MDW enjoy sending a care package consisting of thoughtful gifts and favourite foods to their family to express their love and concern. Consider sponsoring the postage cost or a few items in the care package for your MDW. This would mean a lot to your MDW and her family, particularly her young children. It is extra meaningful during key festivities such as Christmas and Eid al-Fitr.
3. Check in with your MDW regularly and find out how she and her family are doing
A simple act of regularly asking how your MDW is, and listening to her share her family situation and emotions can mean a lot to her. Find out more about her family back home, how COVID-19 is affecting her family, particularly her children. Understand how her family situation is making her feel too. Across the globe, many developing communities are struggling with their livelihood due to the pandemic. This might increase the stress level of many MDWs, as they would need to remit more money back home to meet their family's needs.
Just as our family is important to us, it is important to our MDW too. A happy and well-supported employee benefits our household too. So make these 3 simple and practical tips one of your top priorities as a MDW employer!