Forrester Research

www.forrester.com

Forrester Research Reviews

Updated January 27, 2015
Updated January 27, 2015
278 Reviews
3.5
278 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
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Forrester Research Chairman, President, and CEO George F. Colony
George F. Colony
208 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

Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Requires high intelligence, a work-hard/play-hard culture, endless room for learning, promotion and $$$.

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

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

    Pros

    -Some of the most intelligent people you'll meet work here, yet they're still friendly and easy-going.
    -Executives are VERY accessible. CEO, CMO, CSO, CFO, etc. interact with people all the time, remember you by name.
    -Want to talk to top-level executives at major global companies? You will, and it's exhilarating.
    -Solid pay and great opportunity for growth and promotion.
    -Cambridge office is state of the art - brand new, lots of natural light, free coffee/espresso, ping-pong, foosball, full band setup provided (guitar, bass, drums, piano).
    -Literally everyone you run into is smiling and loves to be here, even during times of stress.
    -Working from home is always an option - very sensitive to personal needs, especially for commuters.
    -If you're a bright, innovative person, you'll fit in great.

    Cons

    -Get ready to work - not necessarily a real 'con,' but this is not a company where you can coast.
    -Very long learning curve - again, not exactly a 'con,' but the training can seem endless at times. The Forrester ecosystem requires it.
    -Change happens a lot - company messaging, vision, mission, values constantly changing, but with positive, forward-thinking intentions.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep being as transparent as you currently are! You've created an outstanding culture.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 5 people found this helpful  

    Management skills or lack there of!!!

    • 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 (more than a year)

    Pros

    With the inclusion of consultants to take the place of advisors who write the research things are at least in the right direction.

    Cons

    Management is all over the board in terms of strategy and the Human Resources department is useless and can't be trusted. BEWARE. Consistent change of direction makes it difficult especially for the customer facing employees

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop drinking the Kool-Aid and train your managers to be good managers that understand that the on-boarding experience and on-going communications for best interest of the employees is their a major focus or the revolving door will continue. Boomerangs come back only when they see positive change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3. 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
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lagged competitors for years, now stuck its' own echo chamber

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Billings, MO
    Current Employee - Analyst in Billings, MO

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

    Pros

    Analysts are easy for clients to work with and will bypass management barriers where they can.
    Some of the most decent people to work with, including senior leadership. They care about their people.
    Disciplined in how they manage money and they have lots of cash
    Front line managers say what leaders want to hear, but behind the scenes will try to give what clients need.
    Some great research on consumer side.

    Cons

    Very inside/out oriented. CEO and leaders know what's best for clients.
    Slow to realize something's not working. For years, internal structure hurt collaboration and confused clients. Only now is it dying, slowly.
    Deep cynicism among research directors, analysts and salespeople around 1984 like speech requirements. Clients are quietly told "when you read this, don't worry, it really means this"
    Amping up the provocative and what sounds cool over solving problems could erode a long term advantage we had.
    Compliant leadership team. Those who really disagree with CEO, lose influence or leave.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    CEO needs to find out what's really going on. Given current tone, it'd have to be anonymous.
    Stop doing things that are obviously silly.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Supportive environment

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

    I have been working at Forrester Research full-time

    Pros

    People are eager to help and strongly encourage employees to utilize the internal ecosystem for knowledge sharing.

    Cons

    It's not clear who or where you need to go in order to get the answers you need. Often you will have to go through multiple people to finally get to the expert in the space.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Has stalled a bit in recent years

    • 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

    Very good work life balance as long as you have a manager that doesn't feel the need to micromanage. Easy to work from home, on-site gym and pretty good benefits.

    Cons

    Job satisfaction depends heavily on who you work with and report to. So much red tape it's difficult to get anything done and moving up is almost impossible nowadays. Cambridge office is in a crummy location and people don't seem to take much pride in their work anymore. It's more about getting it done or passing the buck.

    Negative Outlook
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Lost Some Luster But Still A Great Company

    • 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

    Belief in serving the customer is a key part of the culture.

    Collaboration is easy if you can find the time - everyone is happy to help - very open culture.

    High performers can advance very quickly - e.g. bottom run to VP in ~ 6 years with the right managers promoting you along the way.

    People who manage up do very well in the present culture at Forrester. (Has its cons too - see below).

    Strong focus on hitting personal goals keeps people focused on what's important.

    Good company for career development for college grads. Excellent mix of early, mid and late career people helps blend skills, learning and cultures across generations. People who work at Forrester, young or old, are very forward looking and typically in-touch with the latest trends and gadgets.

    Very bright analysts shape business thinking in the largest firms in the world. Hard working sales teams strive to do what's right for the customer. Support teams are all recognized for their contributions to success. Quarterly company awards and recognition.

    Mixed technology infrastructure is getting better - strong use of cloud services.

    Excellent reputation for quality and customer access to analysts.

    Good comp package. Excellent benefits.

    Cons

    Good upward managers are not always the best people managers. Middle management at Forrester appears much more concerned with managing their own careers than developing their teams. Minimal HR support and development for individual contributors - most support for senior managers. (i.e. If you are independent and a self-starter you should do well).

    At this time too many middle and senior managers don't bother discussing quarterly goals with their teams and often don't bother creating them till after the quarter. This can make goal setting an exercise in futility (wasted opportunity).

    Shift from quarterly bonus to annual bonus.

    Senior and middle managers are apparently not assessed on how well they lead and manage their teams - "leadership" seems to be a skill not well understood and practiced at Forrester. Some of the best leaders are moved because they apparently don't manage up as well as they lead. Whereas some of the worst leaders are now in senior leadership roles apparently because they manage up very well.

    Creative thinking and innovation that falls outside of upper management beliefs is not rewarded.

    Technology more of impediment than asset (but improving every quarter).

    Long term business goals and strategy not well communicated to the rank and file. No sense of mission or higher purpose.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to lead by serving your teams and coaching individual contributors to succeed. Learn to inspire follower vs. dictate actions.
    Adopt social communications (internal and external) and lead by your actions not words.
    Reward creativity and innovation - tolerate failure if part of innovation process.
    Apply your own research.
    Connect company to a higher purpose - how will making Forrester a success help society?

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful  

    Great company with a lot to look forward to

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

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

    Pros

    Great environment, competitive, good base pay, leadership, sharing of best practices, structured, adaptive to change, proactive, good benefits/401k match,

    Some of the other reviews mention that Forrester changes too much, but I see it as being proactive to adapt to the forever changing market.I wouldn't even call it change, instead I'd call it improvement. Forrester eat's it's own dog food by having the ability to disrupt the business to create the best customer experience.

    A friendly, hard working office environment with great energy which keeps the office from being dull. If you know how to leverage your networking skills and how to access all the marketing tools, you will be successful.

    Cons

    Nothing I can think of...cafeteria could be better I Suppose. There's not a whole lot of restaurants around to go out for lunch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All mangers are different. Some are more involved and others let you go as long as you get results. I have no problem with this because these managers hire the people they believe will work with their system. Understanding what your employees are doing exactly is something I recommend because they can adjust the small things in order to increase productivity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 5 people found this helpful  

    Over the river and through the woods

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

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

    Pros

    During my tenure at Forrester, I was fortunate enough to have great managers who cared about my professional development and really helped me further my career. My team was a bunch of rock stars and working with them was by far the best part of the job. Other highlights include working with tech industry giants, and having Forrester on your resume to back up your street cred.

    Cons

    The Cambridge office location is horrible. Rely on public transportation? Good news: It's only a 10 minute walk from the end of the red line, into the woods, down a dirt path, and through a blaze of goose poop. In below freezing winter conditions you can play "try to guess when the shuttle bus will actually show up." Just don't wait inside -- driver does not play nice if you try to wait inside. Driving in? Unless you plan on getting there at 6 am or leaving past 7pm, you're stuck in the inevitable Alewife rotary cluster for who knows how long. The place feels like a prison because once you're there, you're isolated.

    Assh*les abound at Forrester -- most noticeably in the analyst ranks. On the bright side, you'll have some very thick skin when you come out on the other side.

    Quarterly goal structure discourages collaboration across teams because no one has time to spare for longer projects that don't fall within the predetermined goal guidelines.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    George doesn't walk on water. You'd save yourselves a lot of frustration if someone could finally grow a pair and tell him as much.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Culture is a double-edged sword

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

    I worked at Forrester Research full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Some of the smartest analysts in the industry. Brand has a terrific reputation. Company never rests on its laurels.

    Cons

    CEO claims to thrive on change, but firm struggles to manage it... Constant re-organizations and compensation plan changes translate to high employee turnover... This creates headaches for remaining employees -- and some clients.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pick a course and stick with it -- at least long enough to understand/measure the impact on employees and clients. Also, show more appreciation to your employees, the research is great, but it does not "sell itself".

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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