NEWS11 May 2020

US insights businesses issued with reopening guidance

Covid-19 News North America

US – The Insights Association has released a set of guidelines for US research businesses and in-person facilities as Covid-19 restrictions start to be lifted.

Empty board room

As part of guidelines for reopening in-person qualitative research facilities, the body has advised that participants should have their temperature taken on arrival and be made aware of this during the recruitment process.

Additionally, participants with Covid-19 symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with the virus within the previous 14 days should be disqualified from in-person research, while group sizes should be set at a maximum of between four and eight, the organisation has recommended.

Other advice for facilities includes limiting the number of on-site staff as much as possible, ensuring physical distance, and not reusing disposable items such as paper and pens.

Melanie Courtright, chief executive, the Insights Association, said: “In-person qualitative research is a critical tool in gathering insights, and reopening these facilities is a must for the health of our profession.”

Some US states have lifted stay-at-home restrictions, while others are extending their measures. Courtright noted that businesses are operating in a “continuously evolving situation”.

As well as specific guidance for research facilities, the Insights Association has set out general guidelines for all research industry employers, including the recommendation that businesses dedicate workspace to individuals and allow significant distance between staff.

It also recommended that personal work equipment is allocated to individuals, and that in-person meetings are avoided where possible, even if staff are based in the same building.

Courtright said: “Both in terms of moving employees to remote work and redesigning and evolving in-person research, insights businesses transitioned impressively during the past several weeks. Now, companies must grapple with numerous challenges as offices begin to reopen. This will not simply be a reset to practices and policies in place previously. They will be returning to a changed world.”