The Super Bowl is right in our back yard. Santa Clara, site of Levi’s Stadium, is very nearby. While the game may be in Santa Clara, official events are from San Francisco to Gilroy. It seems absolutely everything can be football themed. A special art exhibit at the Triton Museum, STEM expos at local libraries, golf tournaments, charity events, bowling tournaments, new structures in local parks – you name it and there is a football themed version of it nearby. We have entire buildings wrapped, now essentially very large billboards (thank you Oracle) and the logo for Super Bowl 50 is everywhere, on everything. The area is ready. Security is in place, transportation routes planned, certain streets already closed. The Bay Bridge lights are back, the potholes on 101 (at least between San Francisco and Santa Clara) are gone. Celebrities are here or will be shortly, logoed merchandise is everywhere. Even El Nino is cooperating. There’s a break in the rain and the weekend should be sunny and 70s. Enjoy a super weekend. Let's all join with half time headliner Coldplay, in cheering for their favorite team, the Denver Panthers!
September was National Preparedness Month and October has the Great American Shakeout, both of which makes companies like ours both in earthquake territory and with an El Nino winter on the way, think about disaster preparedness. Unfortunately only a small percent of small businesses have a plan. Just a few of the things we have in place include: fire extinguishers in each room, first aid kits, and a trained emergency responder on staff. We do regular back ups and have off site access to the majority of the information we work with on a regular basis. The building itself is robust, having very recently gone through a series of inspections and improvements. We also have various insurance policies, a generator at an off site alternate work location, and cell phones as back up to our in office phone system.
According to the Small Business Association ninety percent of companies fail within a year of a disaster unless they can resume operations within five days. While there is even more we can do to be prepared for disasters, we know we can be back in business very quickly no matter what comes our way.
Here's the exterior of our new building, Referential, Inc signage still to come. We occupy the back half of the building. The front half has offices for Yakult, Progressive Housing, and Farmer's Insurance. And across the parking lot we have Denny's!
Here's what we refer to as 'The Bullpen'. Not everyone was here when the photo was taken but you can see many of us. What you can't see from this view is the small conference room towards the back with a small table for group work and a treadmill desk!
And below you see two views of "The Boardroom" side. Flexible space for large group meetings, office space for two of the execs, another small conference room with a table and treadmill desk, plus our kitchen. The large table has been used for client meetings already as well as group lunches. We're super happy with our new offices!
This is our first full week in the new offices. Everything is new, the space is so functional, and we all have figured out our new commutes. One of us has a whopping 4 minute commute now! We have two large spaces. One side has our cubicles, several pods of 4 cubicles each. There is also a smaller conference area with workspace for 2-3 plus a treadmill desk. We’re still walking, still checking each other’s steps via our Fitbits!
On the other side, which we refer to as the Board Room side, we have a large conference table, lots of seating, another small conference area that also has a treadmill desk, office space for 2 of the executive staff, and our kitchen.
The extra space is wonderful, and being put to good use! Today we’re hosting one of our clients. We have the perfect space in the Board Room for this half day meeting. We skyped with our team member in London, called in to a training session on new software – projected on the wall for easy viewing, had space for breakout groups, and all had room to sit around the table for group discussion.
Stop by and visit: 1150 Hillsdale Ave, Suite 100 in San Jose, CA. There will be new photos posted shortly. Stop by, we hope to see you soon!
We’re counting down the days to our move to our new building. Flooring is in. Walls are newly painted. Cubicles and desks arrive and will be built tomorrow. Kitchen cabinets and appliances installed. Treadmill desks, we have two, ready to go. Power and web access are set. Site security has been improved. Most of us have figured out the best new commute too. Of course we still need to pack and move everything we’ve accumulated over our two years here. We need new signage at the street. Our clients, partners, vendors, plus city and state government agencies all need our new address. Even the ones with whom we only interact online. And so much more. As much as the world has gone digital this has been a good reminder of the importance of place.
The big move is scheduled for President’s Day weekend. We'll be leaving Campbell, CA and headed not far down the road to San Jose. Pictures and details right after! If you’re local we hope you visit, you know you’re always welcome!
First of all, happy New Year to all! Here at Referential we took various amounts of time off but everyone is now back and in full swing. Our big news to kick off 2015 is that we’re moving. Bigger offices, great location, snazzy new furniture – but best of all - we own it! 2014 was a great year and we knew we would need more space. We looked for a space we could easily customize to our needs and ended up finding the perfect building. We’ll be moving in mid February. Keep an eye on this space for more details and photos as we get closer! As much as we have loved this location in Campbell we're excited for our move to San Jose, CA.
Don't worry, we'll continue to be easy to contact - no change to email addresses or phone numbers, just a new location to visit when you are here in the Bay Area.
We’re hiring again, looking for someone with foreign language skills and, of course, great English! The team is asking their friends, and friends of friends. So far that’s been our very best source of new employees. All the people we hired last year were from contacts our existing employees have and all are proficient in at least two languages. This time we need a ‘less common’ language so are doing a bit more to publicize the position. Today we posted the opening at two local colleges. Of course the systems they use are different, but both were fairly easy for registration and then job posting. We also contacted a local school which specializes just in foreign language instruction. They’ll be distributing the opening to students and staff.
Our team may still be the best source for another candidate but it will be interesting to see what comes of the other postings. We wouldn’t mind being flooded with resumes soon!
It’s a wonderful time to visit sunny California, though actually it would be hard to find a time when it’s not great to visit here! Remote team members and some of our key contacts from out of state have all chosen August for a visit. Last week we saw our HR specialist, out from Atlanta. It was a great chance for her to meet the newest hires face to face and gave us a chance to talk about some strategy issues as a team. We are lucky to have our London based team member arrive shortly for a 2 week stay and plenty of client visits are scheduled over the next two weeks. We are putting our conference room and visitor spaces to good use! At Referential, Inc we have found remote work to be very efficient and effective, but it’s nice to have some extra time with people and to establish more personal connections.
It’s summer. School is out or nearly so. Graduations are in full swing. And vacation season is upon us. As a small business we’re particularly careful when anyone is gone, be it for work events or vacation. We have basically a ‘buddy system’. While we may have a primary contact for a client, we always have a backup who is also familiar with the systems and processes and can step in whenever necessary. It’s a little bit of overhead for us but ensures seamless service delivery. We all come in to the office nearly every day, rather infrequently are there ‘work at home’ days. There are several reasons for that – the office is easy to get to, great location for lunch or walks, and we collaborate a lot. So much faster to get your questions answered face to face. That said we do have a team member in London and one working from Germany for most of June. And even though someone is on vacation, occasionally they choose to work a day or two remotely. Another aspect of being out of the office, besides having knowledgeable backups, is communication. We make sure the status of projects is clear, we’re careful about who has responsibility for what, and when someone is out it is easy to stay in touch; be it by instant message, email, text, or good old phone calls.
When someone on the team is out they do miss some of the camaraderie. For example, we have a tradition of going to Whole Foods for breakfast on Friday. Today those that went came back with a star fruit to share. Most of us had not tried one before. They are delicious, and beautiful. It was a nice treat and a small example which shows we’re a team that not only works well together but really enjoys each other’s company.
Another successful conference! We were one of the sponsors for the Summit on Customer Engagement which was held earlier this week. It’s always a great opportunity to meet people, learn about new programs, plus share best practices. It’s a very collaborative environment, with everyone willing to share ideas. There was plenty of time in the agenda for deeper discussions and many left with a long list of actions they can immediately implement to improve their programs. We look forward to seeing many of our clients at the summit each year. In our dispersed and virtual world a face to face meeting is a pleasure. One of our clients stayed additional days and used our offices for meetings, instead of coffee shops. Our conference rooms sure came in handy! If you're in the Bay Area and need a place to work or meet people keep our offices in mind!
It’s hard to believe but we moved into our offices a full year ago. We knew the location was good, but didn’t know how nice it would be. We focused our office search on Campbell as most of us live nearby. Besides an easy commute, it’s a short walk to a grocery store, our bank, an office supply store, several restaurants, and not one but our choice of two Starbucks! We’re right across the street from Ebay and have walked over to the food trucks parked on the nearby street on more than one occasion. Finally the Los Gatos Creek Trail is just up the road, a nearly 10 mile paved path great for walkers, runners, and bikers. We try to get out on the path for a 30 minute walk mid-day, so much better than sitting at our desks for a full day. We’ve had the space to easily accommodate our growing team and a wonderful location. If you’re in the Bay Area stop by for a visit!
We're all set in our new offices, March 1, 2013. You can't miss us as you drive down Hamilton, we're opposite eBay headquarters and we’re the first one listed on the monument sign right outside the front door. There’s plenty of parking around the back and the flight of stairs from the parking lot will bring you right to our front door. There’s always coffee available in the mornings and a cup of English tea in the afternoons; stop by and say “hi”. If you can’t pop by please call… we have our new phone number: 408 335 6699.
Found it! Great office space in Campbell CA, right across the street from eBay. We’ll have plenty of space for offices and meeting rooms plus a kitchenette. It's just a short walk to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, restaurants, and necessities like the bank and post office. Target start date is March 1 so we’ll have lots to do between now and then.
Referential, Inc.'s first official day of business! (We incorporated yesterday but it was a national holiday.) While we might seem like the new kid on the block we're really an evolution. H&D Feber Associates has grown into Referential, Inc. We've changed the name, incorporated, and hired the best. Our current offices are in the peaceful Santa Cruz Mountains, looking across the whole Bay Area. Employees and clients love the relaxed atmosphere, and the occasional deer, wild turkeys, and coyotes stop by to visit! There's the gang!