Anonymous Online Survey: Is Remote Employment a Sustainable Practice?


This case study presents a summary of learning derived from conducting an anonymous online cross-sectional survey, exploring the sustainability of remote employment. In this research, 112 individuals with varying lengths of time working remotely, for at least 20 hr or more per week, were surveyed. Four separate groups of participants were purposely recruited for the number of years spent working remotely, namely: up to 3 years; at least 3 but less than 5 years; at least 5 but less than 10 years; and 10+ years. Participants were screened and vetted fully by the online survey platform provider for meeting these unique eligibility criteria. After completing the study and reflecting on the overall experience, several recommendations for working with survey platform providers are provided. First, having survey platform providers authenticate participants may not be optimal or ideal when using anonymous online surveys. Instead, having identifiable respondents may be more appropriate to promote accurate and verifiable responses. Also, when working with survey platform providers, assessing the validity of responses during the data collection process, instead of at study completion, is recommended as a way to remedy any concerns that arise due to missing data. This would also ensure that all questions are being asked of all participants, and no items are accidentally omitted or changed in any way during the data collection process. Finally, having shorter more focused surveys is recommended to minimize the likelihood of respondent fatigue and missing or bogus responses. This would include breaking larger surveys down into smaller separate ones.

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