How are researchers? What do they need?

NewMR ReportPosted by Ray Poynter, 8 April 2020

We are living in extraordinary times, living in the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Most researchers are working from home (if they have not already been stood down, furloughed, or let go), many brands are unable to trade, and something like one-third of the world’s population is currently in lockdown.

We at NewMR are keen to help but, being researchers, we want to know what help is needed and relevant before we start simply doing things. So, last week with the help of others we used a short questionnaire to conduct a survey with 1014 insight and market research professionals from 70 countries.

To download the full report, click here.

Here are the key findings from the people who took part in the study:

  • Only about 5% of us are still working in an office, 85% are working from home and the rest are not working (but at home). Not working includes people who have lost their job, people who have been furloughed, freelancers without any projects and others.
  • The good news is nearly half of us seem to be reasonably happy. However, about one-in-six are not happy and employers and the research associations need to prioritise their needs.
  • Working from home seems to be fine for most of us, but it does not seem to be good for about 20% of us. These people need to be a priority for employers and the research associations.
  • At the start of the currently enforced working from home (WFH) there was a widespread expectation that people would have time on their hands. However, the results of the survey suggest only about one-quarter of us have plenty of spare time. So plans to learn a new skill or start writing more blogs may not actually happen.
  • People have a large number of suggestions for the sorts of things that the research associations and organisations could be doing including:
    • Making the case for research being necessary
    • Making the case for insight and research professionals not to be neglected when governments protect their people and economies
    • Providing advice on how to cope in the current crisis
    • Offering learning opportunities and resources.

To download the full report, click here.

NewMR Supporting Insights & Research Resource
We have created a curated a list of resources that are available to market research and insight professionals. To access that page, click here.

Thanks and Acknowledgments
We would like to thank everybody who helped make this project a success, including everybody who shared the survey link and completed the survey.
This project has been helped by the large number of people who provided support and assistance, and we would like to thank the following organisations: QuestionPro for the use of their data collection platform, everybody who helped distribute the survey, including ESOMAR, RANZ, MRSI, GreenBook, Merlien, and Quirks.
We’d like to mention five people who volunteered to review the draft of this report: Steve Needel, Kim Albert, Annoek Jansen, Mireya Ettlin, and Simon Chadwick.

And, everyone who shared the link in their networks and participated in this study and shared their feelings, thoughts, experiences and ideas, for example our Italian friends at IFF International. NewMR sends their best wishes to the global insights and market research community. Stay safe!

NewMR Sponsors
The NewMR sponsors make everything we do possible and we’d like to thank Cint, Confirmit,, Further, Infotools, Netquest, QuestionPro, ecGlobal, E-Tabs, MRII at the University of Georgia.

6 thoughts on “How are researchers? What do they need?

  1. Many many thanks, this is extremely helpful to understand how things could change in terms of organization in the coming months and years.

  2. Thanks Ray!

    Are there any plans to field this study again? It would be interesting (and informative) to see how some of these items change over time.

  3. Hi Pat, yes, we plan to go into field next week and be in field for two week. We are repeating some questions to see what the changes are, deleting some, and adding some to explore other aspects.

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