Have you ever dreamed of working from home? With a commute from the bedroom to the home office, there are few distractions to interrupt your workflow and you’ll never have to take off your slippers. For Patra employees, that isn’t a dream – most of the company’s staff work from home in a virtual office environment.
Patra’s leadership sees this as a significant reason for the company’s success; enabling increased productivity, minimizing distractions and allowing for more flexibility than if employees had to travel to an office every day. This made a brick and mortar office more of a luxury than a necessity.
Patra CEO John Simpson believes employees also see significant benefit from Patra’s work-from-home structure because they can work from anywhere if they have an internet connection and are available during business hours. “We provide careers for people that they can take anywhere,” he explained. “When people work from home, they’re not only more productive, they have more time for themselves and their families.” In addition, the lack of a commute frees time for employees to reallocate toward family, hobbies and leisure.
“In the end, a work-from-home strategy allows us to recruit the best talent to service our customers, no matter the location,” Simpson adds.
Until recently, Patra’s headquarters were housed in the Novato, California print shop. With growth, the leadership team saw the need to secure a larger space to house additional resources and provide an even higher level of service to its customers. Patra found the perfect hub in El Dorado Hills, California – a quiet city just outside of Sacramento and a stone’s throw from Lake Tahoe.
The new building is equipped with meeting spaces and conference rooms where staff can meet with current and potential customers. It also houses a print shop, providing seamless customer service and fulfillment. The new location will also house an operations center where production metrics and IT data can be monitored via a digital display, all in one place.
“Think of the large room you see in James Bond movies, with a bunch of people working at computers and a large screen in front of it all – that’s what this is going to look like,” says John. “Patra performs millions of transactions per month; being able to keep track of everything with that level of detail is important.”
The electronic operations center will monitor dashboards and activity across the globe and give the team the ability to see what’s happening at any office in real-time, helping employees service their clients with an even greater level of detail and efficiency.
Employees won’t be required to come into the office daily, or even at all. On any given day, the office could be nearly empty or completely full. Patra’s new headquarters offers the kind of in-person interaction that comes with a standard office environment, but high levels of interaction aren’t new for Patra employees. Patra uses advanced video conferencing software. Many employees work with their cameras on throughout the day, so it feels like they’re working next to people that may actually be hundreds or thousands of miles away.
Patra’s new headquarters also helps the company bring jobs to the Sacramento region. While most of its employees can and do work remotely, it helps to have a physical place for training. And there will be a big need for training, soon. As the insurance industry sees a significant retirement wave over the next five years, it will need dependable, talented employees to replace them. John sees that talent pool in Sacramento and wants to provide the area good, portable jobs.
“When people see Patra, I want them to recognize it and have good feelings about us, and want to work for Patra. I want Patra to be a company creating a great working environment for people around the world, as well as our new home in Sacramento.”
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