The Perks of Working from Home: Achieving Work-Life Balance during the Holidays

by Shy Ibe | January 26, 2024

Employee Journals

I’ve been with RareJob for a year and 7 months now as a Support Associate from the Operations Department. We handle and resolve all inquiries received from tutors regarding their lessons, schedule, and other concern related to the service level agreement. Since we directly deal with tutors, we must always be on standby and remain online even on the most anticipated time of the year, the holiday season. In the Philippines, the Christmas season starts as early as December and can last until January. Long weekends, holiday markets, holiday events, and other activities that gets us into the “holiday spirit” are being looked forward to by many Filipinos.


Some people might have been decorating their homes, doing gift shopping, or on the road travelling back to their hometown. Last year 2023, my family and I decided to celebrate the season in a simple way and focused on spending a lot of quality time together like what we usually do. We did our traditional movie marathon of holiday movies and went to the mall several times to eat out. Two of my cousins’ birthdays fall on December, so we had a lot family dinners together with our other relatives.

On the last day of the year, we did our yearly exchange gift together with my cousins, and played games, staying up until 6AM of January 1st. We did not really plan to stay up late but I guess they are right when they said that time flies when you are with the people you love. Actually, it was the games that prolonged our New Year’s celebration, but not because we were good at it or we were competitive, but because we couldn’t start immediately as someone would crack a joke or make a comment randomly, then we’d have a good laugh about it. Meanwhile, the actual game would only last for 2 minutes. My jaw hurt laughing the whole night. We didn’t notice the time until we saw the sun rising. I made a wish for this year to be kind to us.


Aside from the family gatherings, I had a pleasant time during our first Division dinner with the other departments. It was exciting meeting and seeing other teams in person, especially my own team, as we rarely see each other due to the work from home setup. Being able to communicate in person still hits different. We enjoyed the games, raffle, and of course, the food.

There were also special performances from the other teams that added to the joy we were feeling. Some of my co-workers gave me gifts too so I felt thankful for them. After the dinner, our team went to a nearby coffee shop to spend more time together, where we talked and relaxed for a bit longer. It was definitely a wholesome moment that I will remember.


RareJob also held its face-to-face Year End Party (YEP) years after the pandemic. The event’s theme was “White Festival.” It was actually my first time attending a company event in person so I was really looking forward to it. It even took me weeks looking for an all-white outfit to match the event’s theme. Some of my colleagues and I also booked a hotel near the venue where we prepared, and also so that we could go to the venue together.

Everyone looked elegant and sophisticated in white during the event. The food was scrumptious and the drinks were limitless. I personally enjoyed the time given for dancing and mingling with other people. In reality, I spent most of the night dancing that I forgot to really talk with others, but I can say that I crushed the dance floor that night. It was a fun night that allowed us to take a break from our daily routine and spend quality time with our colleagues. Thank you, RJPH!


While the time leading up to Christmas and New Year ’s Eve is supposed to be relaxing, the grind does not stop for some, including me. In the midst of all the holiday events, shopping, and travel, it can be hard to balance the time I want to spend with my family along with my work, especially since I did not take any leaves and have to come to work during the regular holidays, except during Christmas and New Year. Working from home at this time is challenging, and managing the workload is another hard part. However, it was more advantageous and suitable for me. I have less expenses and spend less time on commute, and have more time with my family. With that said, I’m really thankful for the opportunity to work remotely.

Here are some of the strategies I applied that allowed me to accomplish all my responsibilities at work and spend quality time with my family too:

Setting Boundaries. We have to establish a clear boundary between work and personal life. This includes setting a designated workplace and avoiding work-related communication outside work hours, unless completely urgent. I personally try to disconnect from social media especially during my rest days so I can avoid any communication related to work and spend the time with my family instead.

Planning ahead and making sure to stick to it. A common mistake that we can make is to create a plan but not actually stick to it. Planning ahead helped me become more organized and I felt more in control of my day-to-day life as I did not need to worry about what will happen tomorrow or next week.

Communicating the tasks and schedules ahead with your teammates. This did not only benefit me, but it helped everyone to stay on the same page and avoid misunderstanding. I planned all the work I need to do and all the “gala” with my family ahead. This way, I did not have to wonder if I forgot to do something at work, and just enjoyed the time with my family with ease.

Taking breaks. If I am feeling overwhelmed, I usually take a step back by taking a walk or doing stretches to reduce the stress and re-energize. Eating helps too.


Achieving a healthy work-life balance requires effort and consistency, and is unique for everyone. It does not mean that we are shirking responsibility, but these strategies are also meant to help us take care of ourselves. They enable us to reduce stress, re-energize, and have the stamina to maintain good performance throughout the day, and still have the energy to spend time with our families or do other activities after work.

So, let’s come back to work with a fresher, more rested mind. I hope everyone had a great holiday. Happy New Year!