2020: A Year of Challenges, Achievements, and Gratitude

By Marina Ilari

While I am so grateful for our kind, supportive, and hard working team every day of the year, as 2020 ends I can’t help but reflect on how special they made an undeniably difficult year. Without them, Terra could not have achieved everything we did this year, from supporting charities we’re passionate about to delivering unparalleled results for our amazing clients. 

Our Team’s Achievements

My gratitude for our team extends well past what they achieve, but I am also so proud of all the achievements born out of their hard work and commitment to excellence. While our team accomplished great things every day, these are a few of our standout moments. 

We were also awarded the Focus on the future Award, which meant so much to our entire team. Terra received this award for maintaining an employee-centric focus by managing the health and well-being of our workforce. This award was so meaningful to us because it confirmed we were doing our best to create a healthy and happy working environment, especially when the pandemic hit.

Growth Amongst Challenges

In December 2019 our team was made up of 55 members. I am so thrilled to report that during 2020, 34 members joined our team, which amounted to a 62% growth rate. Most of our new additions took on Project Management roles, but some are linguists who work in quality assurance and editor roles.

Like all businesses, we faced a unique set of challenges due to the onset of COVID-19. We are so proud of how our team weathered so many sudden changes. At the beginning of the pandemic, many people were struggling with lockdown and working remotely for the first time. Having always worked remotely, we wanted to send positive vibes and help in any way we could. We created a video with positive messages to show support from our team members. 

Even though we’re accustomed to working remotely, we know firsthand how many challenges there were to overcome. Our team members were not used to having “more people at home”. Between children not going to school and partners suddenly working from home as well, things could get loud and crowded during the work day. We are extremely thankful and proud of everyone for rising to these challenges and supporting their teammates when they needed it most.

How We Gave Back 

At Terra, giving back to our community is a core value that we all share. Philanthropy is something that is widely supported by our team. In 2016, we launched an initiative called Terra Cares which provides pro-bono translation services to select healthcare and legal focused non-profit organizations within our communities. In 2018, we expanded our efforts by partnering with Doctors Without Borders, a global non-profit that provides medical services to areas in crisis around the world. Our Terra Cares program aims to eliminate economic barriers and leverage social connections to improve people’s lives. 

We participate in a variety of philanthropic opportunities that support our local communities and our industry as a whole. 

In 2020 we presented at multiple online conferences on a wide spectrum of topics, including:

Our video game localization division, Terra Localizations,  also participated in industry events and virtual opportunities like:

We created useful resources that we hope provide insight into the challenges that working remotely can cause, such as:

Our Annual Team Building Event

For the past few years, we’ve come together at the end of the year in Buenos Aires for team building activities and a special dinner. This is really important to us because it’s the one time a year we all get to spend time together face to face. 

In 2019 while we were in Buenos Aires for the annual event, a small group of Terra Translations teammates worked on the shooting of a dozen videos for social media which included the stellar performance of a dog, who we named “Fuzzy” (a tongue in cheek reference to fuzzy matches in CAT tools).

We had a fantastic time shooting them and have really enjoyed sharing them with the rest of our team (and the world) so that everyone could see what we were up to. The videos have premiered monthly in 2020 and these are a few of our favorites!

Of course, this year doing this annual event was not possible, but we didn’t let distance stop us from bonding as a team. Thankfully, the wonders of technology meant that we could still get together for a fun-filled couple of hours to celebrate what has been an undoubtedly challenging year for us all. We had a safe and socially distant Zoom party and spent a couple of hours playing games and having some fun together.

As a virtual team, meeting in person once a year has been amazing for our team-building and culture. So this year we put a lot of thought into what we could do virtually that would actually be super fun and not just feel like another Zoom meeting.

What’s to Come? 
As a team, I know we’re all looking forward to starting a new year and a new chapter. Our video game localization division in particular will be taking advantage of the new year’s fresh start. During 2020, this division underwent aesthetics changes, which included a new logo, and illustrations designed by the extremely talented Hector Adrián Rodera.

We are excited to embrace some new changes next year and can’t wait for you to see what we have up our sleeves. Hint — we all deserve a little refresh from time to time.

In 2021 and beyond, we hope to continue to grow our team, our services, and our philanthropic work. Each year we become stronger together. Cheers!

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