FEATURE22 September 2017

‘It’s not brain surgery’

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Features Impact UK

Anxiety in the workplace can be debilitating – but, with the right techniques, it is manageable. Michael Brown shares his experiences and tips for market researchers coping with stress


I’ve worked in several market research roles – in fieldwork (Research Now), full-service research (MESH Experience) and in media (UM London). Each has involved seasons of varied kinds of stress – mainly, the healthy kind, that a previous boss called the “growing edge” – keeping comfort zones at bay and experiencing growth. 

Throughout my career, however, there have also been moments when delivery pressure transcended from healthy, productive stress into brain-cramping, sleep-snatching, cuticle-massacring stress. The common chorus among those around me during these moments was “come on now, it’s not brain surgery… it’s only market research”. But this can feel a scant comfort when faced with an imminent deadline. 

The frequent purpose of our output – to quantify business performance and illuminate best steps to improve it – means a great deal can hinge on the reports we deliver. By its very nature, our industry is given to highly pressurised delivery – after months of work, everyone is ...