Three Things Frontier will never Offer You

Frontier Research
May 29, 2019 · 4 min read

This post is the first part of a 2-part update to our 2014 post, Eight Things Frontier Doesn’t Offer You, given that some things have changed at Frontier since 2014.

To make things clearer, we’ve divided the post into the things we will never offer (that’s this post!) and things we may offer later (which you can read here).

If you’ve read our original post from 2014, this post will look mostly familiar (it’s the stuff that hasn’t changed). If not, keep reading to find out!

We talk a lot about what Frontier does and what Frontier, by virtue of its culture, offers to its clients and team members. But surprise, surprise! There are also things that Frontier doesn’t offer — yes indeed. Some of these things are because of an active cultural choice, while others are consequences of where we are in our organizational growth.

Here are 3 things that Frontier will never offer.

1. A ‘Typical Office Environment’

Most interns or graduates looking for their first job come looking for ‘work experience’ that covers a ‘typical office environment’. However, Frontier strives pretty hard to shy away from this definition of its work environment, by choice. We do not have regular work times, team members only need to be in office for meetings and can work from wherever they like otherwise. We also don’t dress like a typical office; you will find us mostly dressed in casual clothing except, of course, when meeting clients (yes, we do believe in dress codes in some occasions). In contrast some candidates enjoy working in a workplace with a more corporate feel to it where everyone is dressed formally, a very rare occasion at Frontier.

Not being big on ‘typical office environments’ we don’t really provide personal cubicles either. All of us work in one big space and the choicest spots are usually grabbed on a first come, first served basis; we like to think of it as being democratic!

2. Breathing Down Your Neck

At Frontier, no one will keep pushing you to do work. That’s your responsibility. If you work well you will find that the benefits will come. If you slack off and skip on deadlines, because you think the environment is ‘lenient’ then you will experience corresponding disbenefits; someone else will get the work and the rewards that go with it, while we may even hire new team members to take on the slack. This goes in line with our philosophy of an entrepreneurial culture and symmetrical reward systems. Team members get rewarded according to the value they contribute, and team members are free to choose to contribute less if they are prepared to take a corresponding hit on their remuneration.

Like every organization, we have peaks and lows of our work. But when work is low, given we work in a remote environment what you do is really up to you. As compared to an office environment, where simply being at work feels like “work” or where people will notice you don’t seem busy and give you “work”, you might end up at home feeling not productive enough. To para-phrase another post from 2014:

Usually our team performs at [60–80%] of full capacity. And the extra capacity (manifested in time, resources etc.) they are free to use as they see fit. This is different from organizations with required work hours that will want team members to be in office (taking away time perhaps more productively spent elsewhere) regardless of whether they are needed or not.

3. Constancy (i.e. Change is the Only Constant)

Frontier is also in constant change. In fact, that is a core part of our organizational identity. We have also moved from a work culture of only rewarding creativity and ingenuity to also appreciating process, routine and reliability.

In terms of our core business, we have also evolved into providing information services from being purely an advisory firm, while our advisory services have also evolved over the years. For example, a few years ago stock research (on an outsourced basis) was the core of what we did, now it’s really not something we do at all — instead Economic Research and varied information services have become the dominant part of our core business.

On a more cultural aspect, we’ve gone from having a very flat organization structure to a structure of limited hierarchy, as our team has grown and we felt the need for it.

Some may find this change hard to deal with, preferring static environments that provide well defined grooves within which to work.

Change can also mean that what we offer changes over time as well. But our core commitment to a flexible working culture which enable our team to engage in fulfilling work at times that are best suited for them, in a life-first work environment will remain; all change that happens will only take place within this structural reality.

Interested in knowing what could change in the future? Check out part 2 of this post

The official blog of Frontier Research (Sri Lanka)

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