Forrester Research Reviews

Updated April 13, 2015
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Forrester Research Chairman, President, and CEO George F. Colony
George F. Colony
41 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Research Associate

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent name for a future job and the work life balance is pretty good. Forrester employs a lot of young, bright people and has some interesting opportunities to learn if you're placed on the right team.

    Cons

    Forrester does hire a lot of young, bright professionals to staff its research organization, though it does little to nothing with them. None of the "opportunities" available to a research associate are linked to merit, which encourages complacency and drives most of the junior staff to leave in the first year-18 months. The pay, as documented elsewhere, is barely more than half of the industry standard, and while everyone from the head of research to the head of human resources will tell you that it's not, it is. Many RAs wait tables, bartend or tutor in the evenings and on weekends just to be able to pay rent in a low-cost suburb of Boston or Cambridge.

    The work that RAs do is most often unrelated to research. 90% of the job within the first year is administrative, i.e. scheduling calls, running to the cafe to buy an analyst a Snapple, etc., and while there are some analysts that value the RAs that work with them, most view them as an expendable personal assistant, and exclude them from their research process.

    On a more general level, there is no connection between senior leadership and the rest of the organization. This has been commented on ad nauseam already so I won't get into detail, but when you're laying off employees and shredding their bonuses, is chartering flights to exotic locations and splurging on executive bonuses really a prudent decision?

  2. Helpful (4)

    Good name, but going downhill fast

    • 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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Forrester is a really good name to have on your resume. As many other reviews have noted, it can be a good stepping stone to get to a better job - put in one to two years here, and then go somewhere that really respects you. The office itself is very pretty, with a modern design inside and a nice layout. Some of the employees are very nice as well; young employees band together through a sense of camaraderie. There is a gym on-site, and a lot of after-work activities designed to get people involved and make them feel welcome. And you can work from home once a week, which is nice. The work/life balance can sometimes be very nice, unless you get very particular analysts that believe you are accessible 24 hours a day.

    Cons

    The office is very nice on the inside, but it's in the middle of a field. In the middle of nowhere. Convenient for the higher ups that can afford to live anywhere near there, but definitely something to consider before working there. There is a parking garage on-site if you drive, although it will cost you a percentage of your already small paycheck. The biggest downside (as many people have noted) is the pay, which is beyond insulting. They say that they benchmark salaries against market value, but going in, know that you can make much more elsewhere. Much more. When you're first hired, they will play up that they'll make up for your salary in bonuses, which used to be quarterly. That has all changed, however. They say it's not to cut costs, but let's get real. We all know better. Bonuses are now annually, which is fine for the older execs who don't rely on them to live. Or pay their rent. Or buy groceries. And now, if you leave before the end of the year (as most do), you get nothing. Just the way they want it. The other half of your bonus is tied to the company performance, and, as you probably guessed, something you will never see the full percentage of. Layoffs come every January (right around they announce you won't get all of your bonus, before they send selfies from their private jet to the Bahamas with the sales teams. I wish I was making this up), in their attempt to "streamline" the company.

    If you do go work here, just know what you're getting into. You can do better. And you will. You'll just have to grin and bear it first.

    Advice to Management

    Pay people what they're worth (not the higher ups, you guys all make enough already). Stop acting like Millennials are all entitled brats who just want handouts.

    Forrester Research Response

    Apr 13, 2015Chief People Officer

    I am sad that you are not having a positive experience at Forrester. A former client myself, I chose to come to Forrester 2 years ago because the company I relied upon 20 years ago to tell me the ... More

  3. Helpful (7)

    Great brand -- poor senior management and growth strategy

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

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

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart people, strong brand in the market, great company if you are beginning your career.

    Cons

    Senior/executive management is out of date, stale and lacks vision. Cambridge office location is a drag. Very inward facing culture despite "age of the customer" mantra. Poor at change management (their consulting model is a mess)

    Advice to Management

    Move the corporate office! Innovate! Employ some youth and energy at the top.

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  5. Helpful (2)

    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.

  6. 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)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    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 Management

    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.

  7. Helpful (6)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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

  8. Helpful (3)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  9. Helpful (1)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

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

  10. Helpful (1)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

  11. Helpful (3)

    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)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    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 Management

    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.

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