Posted: 05 Mar. 2021 15 min. read

Our 'new normal' – how we’ve kept the Immigration team in Tax together

Our team's tips to stay connected and engaged

Hi everyone! My name is Felipe, and I currently work in the Immigration team within Global Employer Services in Tax. During the “new normal” we’ve all found ourselves in, the team have found some interesting ways to keep us all connected and engaged during difficult times. Plenty of wellbeing-focused activities have taken place throughout the past year, and we hope that by sharing these with you, we can give you some ideas for similar activities to enjoy with your colleagues and family. They definitely helped lighten my mood, as well as those of my team (as you’ll see from their comments below!) 


 

tax team having a virtual coffee catch-up

 

Coffee catch-ups

By reserving 30 minutes in the calendar every two weeks, we’ve been able to have an informal conversation about anything (but work!) while having a good cup of coffee or tea to unwind and catch up with our colleagues. It allows us to unplug from the routine, and we’ve found that we always feel better and ‘lighter’ after having a good laid-back chat with each other.

"Coffee Catch-Ups are definitely my favourite thing. It's just a good way to have lovely banter with colleagues on non-work related subjects. Human contact is so important especially nowadays. Please keep them going :D"

 

Step-a-thon

The Step-a-thon is a competition to see who could take the highest amount of steps in a certain period of time. We came up with a simple spreadsheet into which everyone could add the amount of steps taken each day – at end of the week, the winner gets a prize! Our Step-a-thon was an interesting way to motivate me to keep active and keep moving, especially during winter where the cold weather tends to demotivate us and keep us indoors most of the time.

I loved the Stepathon. As much as I really didn’t want to go out for a walk with the weather as awful as it has been, it motivated me to get my trainers on and get out there! I always felt better for it afterwards.

 

Celebrations and socials

Despite working from home, we definitely didn’t fail to celebrate some fun events. To name a few...

  • ....We’ve hosted plenty of Guess that Tune Quizzes (the team’s favourite!) and virtual meet-ups where we had the opportunity to have a drink and socialise for a bit.
  • During Halloween, we gathered to make pumpkin carvings - funnily enough, this was actually my first year carving a pumpkin. Definitely not the Halloween I was expecting, but in terms of my carving, things went pretty well!
  • We worked on a Paint by Pint to create some amazing artworks (if we don’t say so ourselves).
  • During the festive season, we organised a Secret Santa event with our colleagues in Global Employer Services – which featured some pretty inventive presents.
  • We had a team Pancake Tuesday Zoom call with some very artistic pancakes made (and swiftly eaten).
  • Finally, we haven’t forgotten birthdays throughout the year, with remainders for each birthday that comes up to make sure we mark the occasion.

It’s important to mention that these events were an amazing way to make our new team members (who were onboarded during Covid restrictions) feel like part of the team and have the opportunity to get to know everyone a bit better outside the work environment.

Our team WhatsApp group has helped new members of the team get to know us all too – with pictures of new dogs, babies, cats, nephews, sunrise strolls and the team’s homes being shared frequently. Our bi-weekly Positive Feedback Call-out and monthly Star of the Month initiatives have helped in being an ongoing positive reinforcement of the work the team does.

The celebration events have been fantastic; it’s nice to actually be able to celebrate an event even though we are at home.
tax team having a virtual pumpkin carving contest

 

Team Cookbook

At this point I think it’s pretty fair to say that everyone has had to reinvent themselves a bit when it comes to food, since we’re spending so much time indoors. The team now have a cookbook where we share our favourite foods and recipes.

What’s cool about this is that our team is made of a hugely diverse group of people from different countries, so I’d say our cookbook has become pretty international, and an opportunity for us to share our cuisines with each other.

I loved the social where we did the quiz & also love the cookbook!

 

Firmwide initiatives and wellbeing events

With our routines turned upside-down since the beginning of the pandemic, Deloitte has adopted a few wellbeing initiatives to help us adapt a bit easier. We ran a wellbeing session as part of our Immigration Strategy Week which focused on mental health and the Deloitte supports available. I found our Compressed Fridays extremely useful and necessary. To be able to log off a bit earlier on a Friday after a long week of work really helped me to relax and “switch off” to get ready for the weekend (even though most of them were spent at home!)

Due to the flexibility provided on my team, whenever I had to deal with a personal issue which demanded me to have a longer lunch break, I knew that I could do so without having to explain to the team, and I was confident that I could easily catch up with my work as soon as I got back.

I have recently availed of the counselling sessions available and it was extremely easy and fast to set this up. I’d highly recommend these resources to my colleagues if they ever feel in need – they’re there to support you.

Overall, these activities made my 2020 much less boring, and definitely helped me feel less lonely by staying connected with people, despite not having a chance to meet in person for a long time. We really hope that you’ll feel motivated to enjoy similar activities with your colleagues and family, and above all, to take care of yourselves.

About the author

Felipe Fazolin

Felipe Fazolin

Analyst

Felipe is an Analyst in our Immigration team in Global Employer Services, based in Dublin, Ireland.