NEWS23 May 2024

Aura develops client guide to tackle stress in the research industry

News UK Wellbeing

UK – Client-side researcher network Aura has launched the Working Well Together Charter, which aims to address behaviours in the client-agency relationship that can trigger tensions, stress or unnecessary workload.

person working at a desk in an office

The guide has six main pillars and has been developed by client-side researchers in partnership with research agencies.

Aura has launched the charter in response to high levels of stress in the industry, an issue highlighted by research carried out by MRS and Opinium on workplace wellbeing.  

The pillars of the Working Well Together Charter are:

  1.  When we ask you for a proposal, we’ll respect your time
  2. When we work with you we’ll commit to open and honest conversations at all times
  3. We’ll leave you to do your best work by managing our side of things well
  4. We’ll treat you as an extended part of our team
  5. We’ll respect your right to disconnect
  6. We’ll commit to proper feedback

In the charter, the six pillars include approaches clients can take to mitigate stress in the client-agency relationship, such as sharing preferred ways of working and expectations before work starts, managing stakeholder expectations, and not contacting agencies outside office hours unless agreed beforehand.

Aura hopes that while the code is voluntary, it can provide a ‘blueprint’ for how clients and agencies work together. Client-side researchers can sign the charter via the Aura website

Ruth Hinton, chair, Aura, and group head of customer experience and insight, Vue International, said: “Our work together is valuable and sometimes high pressured, by its nature, and we can’t promise to remove all of that; but the charter is a declaration of mutual respect and empathy, co-created with our members and some of their agency partners, aimed at eliminating unnecessary pressure – which will lead to better work and stronger research partnerships.”

Suzanne Lugthart, who led the creation of the charter on behalf of Aura, added: “We hear a lot about the catastrophic effects of stress at work but they usually start somewhere small. As with our physical health, prevention is always better than cure. We hope the behaviours championed in our charter will help avoid some of those stressful interactions which can not only ruin a perfectly good day at work, but build up to something more serious and debilitating really quickly.”