Home Health The happy island of public administration where smart working works. The PagoPa case

The happy island of public administration where smart working works. The PagoPa case

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The happy island of public administration where smart working works.  The PagoPa case

No attendance obligations, no timetables, but a strong organization by objectives that has allowed its 220 employees to enjoy all the freedoms of agile work so far. PagoPa is an exception in the public sector. Since day one, the company, controlled by the Ministry of Economy and which manages the payment platforms to the public administration, has adopted the smart working as an organizational model. This is not about teleworking, or working remotely. But agile work, in its original meaning: work from where you want, how you want, the important thing is to bring home the result. A happy island, made even more remote now that the government has not found the square for the extension of smart working for fragile workers and for the parents of the under 14s, already making the new regime a distant memory.

PagoPa: 60 million turnover, 213 transactions processed

Smart working at PagoPa has worked. The numbers say it. The company’s turnover went from 4 million in 2019 to almost 60 million expected by the end of 2022. This is confirmed by the success of apps like Io, the only app for public administration services, which in the same period went from 0 to 30.5 million downloads, used by almost 75% of the Italian active population. They act as a counter-proof 213.5 million transactions executed through for a value of approx € 35.5 billion, with a growth rate of 145% compared to the last year.

“We are a technology company. We are responsible for applications used by millions of people. To do this you need good people. And to have good people you cannot fail to offer them what today is a work practice used by the best technology companies around the world ”. Mirko Calvaresi, Chief Information Officer of PagoPa, is aware of the importance of talent for a tech company. In an interview with Italian Tech he is keen to point out that all PagoPa’s work is “marked by a very strong organizational flexibility”, the only way “to convince talents to come and work with us”.

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220 employees in 3 years, 43 in 2022

And the talents have arrived. PagoPa was born in 2019. Shortly after the pandemic arrived, and the working methods were structured in a rather natural way on teleworking. The company has grown at a rate of about 15 employees per month, registering a 147% increase in the number of resources between January 2021 and December 2021. Today there are 2020 employees, 128 only in the tech area, 43 of these hired in the last 8 months.

“The average age of our employees is 37, but over half are under 35. They work from every city in Italy, for us it makes no difference whether you work from Trapani or Turin. Our tech team is the main asset, it is important for us to offer agile work as a model, but also to work on frontier technologies. We need to attract talent. We are aware that digitizing the public administration is not just about creating apps and platforms that work, but introducing new skills and new knowledge into all structures ”, adds the head of the technology division.

An enhanced corporate welfare system

The low average age led the company led by Giuseppe Virgone to think of a specific corporate welfare system. “Having a good slice of under 35 means that many of these, sooner or later, and luckily, will have children”, explains the manager. The company consequently strengthened the measures available. He lists a few: he extended paternity leave from 10 to 20 days within five months of the birth of a child; introduced the sabbatical leave, with the possibility of taking advantage of two months of unpaid leave after having completed 4 years of seniority; gives a smart working support bonus (120 euros for the expenses incurred by the employee).

Freedom is a winning factor. It is the freedom to organize one’s family and work life.

Agile work yes, but every now and then “we need to meet”, continues Calvarese: “it is mainly for human needs; two days of work done together, in the presence. In those days they arrive in Rome from all over Italy, from Trentino Alto Adige as well as from Sicily ”. A few days together, then we go back to organizing work on apps like Slack, to see each other in meetings via Teams, to put the codes in an open source repository. As they do at Meta, at Amazon, at Salesforce. Only this is a piece of the Italian public administration, not an office in San Francisco Bay.

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The freedom to organize life and work to attract talent

PagoPa is a joint stock company, controlled by the economy, but de facto independent. This made it possible that its smart working model could continue even when the public function decided for a gradual return of employees to the headquarters.

“Freedom is a winning factor. It is the freedom to organize one’s family and work life. Ambushed? It is not possible, our work is measured by results. And then without trust between managers and employees there is no future for a company. We have total confidence in the people who work for us. They are our creative part ”, Calvaresi reasons, who adds:“ Our model is centered on delegation and responsibility. I believe that much of the intellectual work can be based on the same principles. You work for results in any organization that does not require a physical presence to function. Back to the office? For us it would be culturally unthinkable. If only I tried to propose it, everyone would think it was a joke ”.

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