The Inside Scoop At Primer

With Erin Potter, People & Operations at Primer

14th Jul 2022

If you’re not familiar with it just yet, The Inside Scoop is our latest spotlight feature and a chance to get to know our Flexified partners a little better. During these sessions, we talk to employers about things such as their culture, working environment, approach to flexible working and company benefits (amongst a few other things)!

This week, our Co-founder, Molly Johnson-Jones caught up with Erin Potter, People & Operations at Primer.

You can read the written interview below or scroll to the bottom of the page to watch the full recorded session.

Tell us what Primer does in one sentence

Primer does a lot of things, but in one sentence, Primer is the first open automation platform for payments, which enables merchants to build out end to end payment flows through unified checkout and workflow.

How would you summarise your working environment at Primer?

I would say that we are very autonomous and flexible in our approach to how we work at Primer. We always start with the experience and build the operations to support that. So we are trying to build a first class, high performing team that works in a globally distributed and remote fashion. 

What’s one word you’d use to describe Primer’s culture? 

One word to describe our culture… I would say our culture is high performing. 

What made Primer switch to flexible working, or have you always been flexible? 

Primer was actually born out of covid and this remote working culture; we started the company in January 2020. So we jumped onto the back of this remote working “zeitgeist”, but we really felt like that’s ingrained in our culture. 

Could you ever return to an office-only 9-5 environment?

No, I don’t explicitly think we could ever return to an office-only environment, for the reason that we want to maintain absolute flexibility. We are also a globally distributed team, so it’d be very difficult to be in one office at one time.

So can people be confident that Primer will always remain flexible?

We are always going to stay flexible, yes. Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean working from home, we are rolling out our benefits and one of those is our “productivity benefit”, so we want to be able to provide the opportunity for people to access the best environments for them to do their best work and be the most productive, so we’ll be rolling out access to various coworking spaces. 

What is your favourite benefit at Primer?

I don’t have one favourite benefit. It goes back to the idea of flexible working; we want to be as flexible as possible in everything that we do and provide all of the opportunities for people to do their best work. This means we’re really able to be inclusive of the way people want to work and the environments in which they’re most productive. 

What does Primer look for in new hires?

We look for a lot of characteristics and attributes, but the main thing for us is that they’re going to be a cultural fit or “cultural addition”. So, they support and represent our values across owning the work that they do, being autonomous, they have a “go faster” mentality, they are radically transparent or working towards being as radically transparent as possible, and they’re also open to feedback.  

If you could tell prospective employees one thing, what would it be?

Well, I think the most useful piece of advice is do your research. When you’re applying for any company, understand what the company does, what their value proposition is and do your research into the culture and the team to see if it’s a place that you can really thrive. In terms of Primer, we’re really trying to build out our careers page so that people can get a little more insight into our day to day, our  ways of working, and also our culture.

How would you like everyone to be working in 5 years time?

I think we’d like to maintain the setup that we currently have and when I say maintain, I mean develop as well. We are globally distributed and remote first, so we really want to champion that way of working, but a way of working is judged on its  ability to deliver on desired outcomes over time, so that’s still TBD. We’re a year and a half into our journey at this point and this way of working really works for us. It allows us to offer ultimate flexibility and create the best environment for people to do their best work. 

Here is the full recorded session if you'd like to watch!

Don't forget to check out Primer on our website to find out more about their approach to flexible working!