A week together!

Next week nearly all of Referential is gathering at our main office in San Jose.  Team members from 2 countries and 5 states will be here. We will be missing our team member from India, though we have creative ways to keep him involved and updated.  Subsets of us will be off to meet with local clients. There will be more security training. We’re ensuring the whole team is conversant in our newest service offerings. New product training is also on the agenda.  One evening we’re playing bocce ball.  Good food, and a chance to have some fun together is important.

Our newest hire will have her first day Monday, talk about great timing!  Not only will she get a shiny new PC, many of the rest of us will too.  Everyone is here, great time for a technology refresh.  In the photo you can see part of the assembly line that is getting the PCs ready with the newest software and security tools. Large monitors are here too so we still have the benefit of a large display with new, smaller PCs which will be great for travel.Unpacking new PCs

A week together is quite a treat. Nice to see each other in person, not just via video or phone. We’re all looking forward to it!

 

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Already Fall!!

Fall

The year is going so quickly, hard to believe that today is the first day of Fall.  Even in sunny California the weather has turned a bit cooler, a leaf or two is about to change color, and pumpkin spice is ubiquitous. 

In the Southern Hemisphere it’s the first day of spring so our two team members on their way to Australia will experience another week of warmth and sunshine!  We hope they have a chance to enjoy it between rounds of customer interviews and filming.  Here, we will sip a pumpkin spice latte or two to usher in the new season!

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.

–Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

Take Your Vacation – All Of It!

Last year fully 54% of American workers did not use all their vacation according to this post from Business 2 Community written by Kristen Carlson.  Taking time away to refresh and recharge is valuable but do you know just how valuable? This article from Inc by Lolly Daskal has some interesting statistics.

When we do go on vacation 3 out of 5 of us do some work, some more than others! If you don’t take your vacation you’re likely to have higher stress levels and negatively impact both your cardiovascular health and even your year end performance rating!

At Referential we believe taking vacation is important.  We just did a quick mid-year reminder to everyone of how much vacation they have already used this year and how much they still have available. We encourage early planning for time off at the holidays, which is really important for us as our clients still need our services. We are open and stagger time out of the office so as to continue to provide coverage.  We discourage carry over, we’d rather people take their full vacation and get the associated benefits each year.  So far team members have had staycations, attended music festivals, visited the Caymans, the Dominican Republic, Spain, France, and Seattle, to name just a few places, with more exciting locations in plan.

Be among those that take all of their vacation time each year!  You’ll feel better and perform better as well.

Video in Australia

pexels-photo-68704We have two team members headed to Australia for video shoots.  They should be there now but their flight got cancelled last night so they have a ‘fun’ day working from LA.  Fingers crossed that they jet off tonight.  It would be nice to have a day to adjust rather than having to run from a 17 hour flight straight to the customer site!   

We’re seeing more and more use of video with customer advocacy, and for good reason.  This article from Insivia has some very interesting statistics, 27 Stats About Video in 2017.  Bottom line, people are viewing a lot of video, more every day.  Executives are viewing and sharing video, 4X as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it, and marketers who use video grow revenue faster than those who don’t. The stats in the article have links to the source so you can learn more.  The article has a lot of information which helps reinforce the importance of video.   

If you are using video great.  If not, give it a serious thought and give us a call so we can show you how effective video can be in your advocacy work and help you join the majority of marketers using video.

Belgium – be there soon!

provinciaal-hof-1508333_1920Two of the team are headed to Belgium.  After a grueling day of travel, which includes a quick stop in Iceland and a multi hour drive, they will arrive in Belgium.  One of our clients has customers there and wants interviews and video which we’ll turn into video testimonials, quotes, case studies and more.  The team is taking what looks like thousands of pounds of camera and lighting equipment, plus all their personal items, carefully packed into many rolling, hard sided suitcases and two backpacks.   

Their time in Belgium is completely booked, and short, as they return to the US late Friday.  While they likely will have no time for sightseeing we have been lobbying that they return with Belgian chocolates for the office!

How many countries have you visited?

We’re revamping our website and when we do the big reveal one of the pages we’re adding is ‘fun facts’ about the team.  Here’s a little preview.  While data is still coming in, as a group we’ve visited over 60 countries, pretty impressive.   Of course our neighbors Canada and Mexico are on the list, but so are countries not as well known for tourism such as Syria and Croatia.

And beyond the team, our children are world travelers as well.  One daughter just returned from business travel, teaching in Guam.  Another’s daughter returned last night from a 3 week college service trip to India.

While the travel is fun, and educational, it serves a business purpose as well.  As a team we speak a range of languages, allowing us to easily provide world wide support to our clients.  Significant travel, combined with time living abroad, makes us culturally aware and attuned to the differences as we work with clients around the world, a valuable added benefit for our work and personal lives.