Forrester Research

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Forrester Research Reviews

Updated February 11, 2015
Updated February 11, 2015
50 Reviews
2.0
50 Reviews
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Forrester Research Chairman, President, and CEO George F. Colony
George F. Colony
50 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work-life balance at Forrester is really refreshing and strongly encouraged (in 37 reviews)

  • Working with extremely smart people and very flexible work environment (in 44 reviews)


Cons
  • Pay is on the lower side, but work/life balance and culture make up for it (in 12 reviews)

  • The communication of this back to senior management doesn't seem to be happening effectively (in 18 reviews)

More Highlights

50 Employee Reviews Back to all Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Your role will determine how well you fair

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time

    Pros

    - Access to research
    - Working with incredibly smart people
    - Benefits are one of the best I've ever seen
    - Great work-life balance
    - They do genuinely care about their employees (but resources are limited)

    Cons

    Depending on whether you are in a client facing, revenue generating role is going to determine how well you fair in the company. Resources are limited so if you aren't in research or sales (client facing and/or revenue generating positions) you can forget getting access to things like training, competitive salaries, career growth, etc.

    For a year or two it might not matter as your colleagues are generally great and the worklife balance is also generally amazing, but soon afterwards you realize you're in a pretty stagnant position and there aren't any resources to get you to where you want to be so you'll have to leave.

  2.  

    Good company, ongoing leadership challenges.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Vice President in Cambridge, MA

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Smart research and analysis. Solid company with good benefits. Good place to begin a career. Free coffee and cappuccino.

    Cons

    Headquarters location in West Cambridge is terrible. Difficult for customers to visit, few hotels nearby. Terrible commute from anywhere except where CEO and senior management live. Too much clerical work for senior management positions. Salaries tend to be low compared to industry average. High employee burnout resulting in high turnover. Cambridge-based company. Anyone working outside of Cambridge is second class citizen, not truly global. Many analysts are smart, but too young with no real direct practical domain experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect your people, they are your business-don't just provide lip service to them. Stop the burn and churn mentality. Be truthful, realistic, and allow others to make a fair living-not just senior management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
  3. 6 people found this helpful  

    micromanagement

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Good research and reports. Fast turnaround internally

    Cons

    Micromanagement but feedback is not always consistent. Their feedback makes you feel stupid. A lot of gossiping, bickering. A research company but can't hire enough people with strong analytical and process-oriented skills, resulting in an internal mess and inconsistent client experience. Too many layers of client-facing staff, resulting in confusion over who does what. Even salespeople don't know well what roles other internal teams play. The CEO is full of himself, making the onboarding experience boring.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Improve training. Give encouragement and constructive feedback rather than lengthy criticism. Give (negative) feedback in private rather than in front of other people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    On a steady decline over the past few years

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Forrester is a well-recognized brand and is respected in the industry. It provides analysts with the rare opportunity to be ahead of the trends, engage with thought leaders and be the go-to experts for big B2C and B2B brands. Great work/life balance which makes up for the cons listed below.

    Cons

    Work environment can be toxic due to a few primadonnas who use bully tactics against their own colleagues in order to sustain their huge egos. Lack of career development opportunities for analysts. Managers avoid the topic of "promotion" like the plague, which leads to analysts heading for the door when they hit the 3 year mark. Lack of leadership and poor people managers have created an "every man for himself" environment that favors politics over teamwork. The company has recently changed its attitude on remote workers, despite the fact that its offices are located in very expensive cities that are a commuter's worst nightmare. Considering all of the employees who are in remote locations, this can be perceived as a passive-aggressive tactic to get people to leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get up to speed on organizational culture and how to positively motivate employees. Get rid of the ego-centric bullies who inhibit open ideation and collaboration. Launch a career development plan for employees so there is a clear and fair promotion path. Reconsider your attitude towards remote workers and investigate opening satellite offices in client-heavy areas.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Good on CV, but not as rosy as it is made out to be

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Analyst in New York, NY

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great work life balance, competitive salary, a few good people to work with and opportunity to have C-level dialogue and create professional network.

    Cons

    Very biased management, will pay lip-service to a few select analysts while the rest are treated like trash. The primadonnas consider them above everyone else. There is lack of cordial professional relations within the company, too many silos to work around, tremendous pressure to generate revenues, constantly changing focus, anyone who opposes CEO's decisions is shown the door...more like a dictatorship. Senior management remain disconnected from market trends and functions at the whims and fancies of the CEO, many time ignoring what the client actually wants.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be more realistic in your expectations from employees and pay more attention to what the clients want.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    There a reason they have such high staff attrition

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Senior Account Manager in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Interesting content. Allows you to understand some hot areas of interest.

    Cons

    Constant change, which almost always effects sales negatively. With the new CSO trying to be more like Gartner in terms of the pricing but the Forrester is not Gartner. Huge lack in Infrastructure content. Lots of Analysts leaving at moment.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Understand the impact on the front line before making decisions. Take a look outside the speadsheets to get a real world view on what is happening.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Its just a publishing company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    You potentially can learn a lot but you will have to work to do it as its full of people from Boston that are basically rude and just done't care about helping anyone.

    Cons

    People in Boston basically are not helpful people for example when I was there, if you asked for some help, there was little explanation or help they typically would just send you url and let you figure it out. They decided to go with GMail to save money (they will say it had to do with lots of things including Salesforce) however it was the biggest reduction in productivity with one single swipe.

    People don't support each other. Many of the analysts think they know it all and while great at covering subject matter never learned out to work with people. They fire people who are unproductive however there is a very large group (mostly Boston people) that should have been fired long ago but are part of the "family" and hence where there are shuffles (which occur almost every January) they are ducking and hiding and then popping up in new positions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Build a culture where people are supportive. Stop hiring in Boston and start putting people where the clients are and let them work remote if need be to be close to the customer.
    Get out of the seat license mentality.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Downward spiral

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager
    Current Employee - Account Manager

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, esp vacation, beautiful work space, smart people. If working for the right person, flexibility is there in terms of work from home and other life balances If you work on one of the larger Tech vendor accounts, you are golden at Forrester as that is the sweet spot in terms of the product fit. And the subject matter is very interesting and some of the products & analysts are impressive Can be challenging in a good way; constantly learning

    Cons

    The beautiful work space is now in one of the most congested parts of Cambridge. Tough not only for employees but also clients coming from airport.

    Amount of change is at all time high and not for the better. Losing credibility with clients because every few weeks Forrester changes direction. We are supposed to be guiding our clients, not confusing them.

    Comp plan for Account Managers/Sales is very weak and just over 1/3 of the team makes plan. Way too low which is a sign management is out of touch with reality

    Bloated and ineffective middle management. They are paper pushers who do nothing to actually help you be successful. Need to walk the walk not just talk the talk There isn't really managing in a positive sense. No one to really bounce ideas off of and to roll up sleeves and help to find solutions to challenges. To their defense, that is how upper management sets it up; those that question this approach end up being shown the door or fall out of favor.

    Not an open environment for honest feedback.

    Haven't launched a new product in years. Becoming irrelevant. You can only sell so much of the same thing to the same accounts when you hit that point of diminishing returns. Even the strong products are facing stiff competition and nothing seems to be in the pipeline in terms of product dev

    Analysts are leaving in droves. Hard to sell IP when the players are continually changing. We "sell" our analysts so when they only stay a few months or barely a year, it's tough to "sell" this to clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to those in the trenches, not just those folks making plan but more importantly those that are not. Why are they not? It's not always because they are not "doing their job" Lots of other factors can contribute to the fact that 2/3 of the sales team isn't at plan. Chief Sales guy is an improvement but still out of touch and surrounded by Forrester "lifers" who mostly have never worked anyplace else and are "yes men.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 3 people found this helpful  

    Was once grand, now it's a joke

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Cambridge, MA

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work/life balance
    Cool office space
    Good people to work with

    Cons

    Highly noncompetitive salaries
    High analyst turnover
    Poor comp plan

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your employees fairly. I was promoted from within (2x) and have been withheld salary increases at every turn, whereas colleagues on my same team, with the same title and same responsibilities, who were hired from outside the firm make $15K-$20K more on their base salaries.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 2 people found this helpful  

    hard work, but low pay

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good brand, although deteriorating
    Some very helpful people who really want to help the customer
    Lots of products/services to sell if you sell to vendors and vendors actually want to buy form Forrester - much easier to be successful
    good benefits - especially if you are in Cambridge - but good overall

    Cons

    below average pay in sales for the complexity and skill you need to do the job
    incomprehensibly complex for no good reason
    very little courage displayed by management - but plenty of rules
    a lot of STICK and not much carrot
    legacy "loyalists" get promoted regardless of leadership traits
    800 lb Gorilla of a competitor
    lots and lots of finger pointing and butt kissing, not a lot of courage

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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