The MRS FLEX Forum is a collection of industry professionals passionate about flexible working, providing guidance to the sector to help create a fairer, more productive workplace in today’s society.

The group is chaired by Inger Christensen, Independent Consultant and was set up as a result of a thought provoking and engaging Operations Network event back in January 2020, read the event report here.

The conversation around flexible/agile working seems to have been fast forwarded about 5 years since lockdown was implemented. Whilst it is a shame that it has taken a pandemic to recognise that blended working can work and has significant benefits, we need to use this information in our return to work plans. To take the benefits and discuss the challenges to create a happy, harmonious, and productive workforce.



Let's talk about pressure - December 2021

Creating Balance - September 2021

Unleash your superpowers - May 2021

Halting the effect of the pandemic on career progression - 4th March 2021

Business Evolution: Business Excellence Award 2020 - 23rd February 2021

Remote by Default - November 2020

Interactive Flex Forum Panel Discussion - October 2020


Members of the Flex Forum have produced a series of articles providing guidance and considerations, both from an employer’s and individual’s perspective.

  1. Top Tips for Setting Boundaries When Working from Home
  2. The Challenges and Opportunities of Online Communication
  3. The Future of the Office 
  4. The Positives to Gain from Blended Working 
  5. Return to Work – An Employee Survey
  6. Return to Work Plans: Important Factors to Consider 
  7. Remote by Default
  8. Flexible - the new default
  9. Starting a new job remotely


Impact Magazine and ResearchLive: Work in progress
Working in the same way as before the pandemic seems a remote prospect, but how can businesses embed lessons learned now into future flexible models? By Katie McQuater.


MRS have put together a list of resources to help you with the current situation, returning to work, and building a more flexible blended working environment for the future.


Be part of the movement! If you are passionate about flexible working and would like to be involved in the discussions that help shape the information we are providing to the sector, join the growing list of members by emailing 

Inger has worked - flexibly - in research operations since a student covering CATI training, recruitment and QA. In 2006 she joined RPCushing (now Aspire) as a specialist MR recruiter, particularly enjoying candidate development.
Taking this skill further, in 2009 she transitioned into career consultancy, on a DWP contract, followed by a project with flexible working specialist TimeWise.
In 2013 she helped launch Hannelius Recruitment, and was their Talent Manager until summer 2019. Now freelance, Inger wants to contribute to sharing and growing knowledge across the MR industry.

Inger is keen to support the practicalities of flexible working, and organised the Operations Network flexible working panel in January 2020, out of which the Flex Forum grew.
Annie Auerbach is an author and co-founder of cultural insight agency Starling. Her book FLEX is a revolutionary guide to living and working on your own terms. She has worked flexibly for 20 years and four years ago, she founded Starling which specialises in understanding socio-cultural change so that brands can be more relevant and do better. Starling’s clients include Nike, Google and Unilever. Annie is proud to be named a Timewise Power Founder alongside a range of trailblazers who are changing the future of work.
Find her at
Twitter @annieauerbach
Instagram @annie.auerbach

Lizzie has more than ten years’ experience in market research and has worked across methodologies, geographies and sectors – on everything from surveys about women’s education in Afghanistan to developing segmentations for UK insurance company. Currently at GfK she heads up a market leading product for the mobile and home services market involving the integration of survey and sales data.

Lizzie is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and was a founding member of GfK’s D&I group, Fast Forward. She believes that offering flexible work options is integral to driving diversity and inclusion across the industry, as well as in supporting employees with their other commitments, their overall sense of wellbeing and their mental health.

A research operations specialist with nearly 20 years’ in senior management, Colin has led and developed many teams focussed on delivering high quality field management, survey programming and data processing services.

He is a member of the MRS and ensures compliance to their Code of Conduct and the GDPR is maintained throughout by all project teams.

Himself an ‘agile worker’, he fully appreciates the need for a flexible working environment to help all employees manage the evolving demands and pressures of modern life.
Hannah Dunn is the People Manager at IFF Research and has a real passion for flexibility in the workplace and the impact that can have on wellbeing and productivity. Her previous experience in the hospitality sector involved, engaging a shift-based workforce and implementing adaptations for those working unsociable hours.

Chloe Fowler - Chloe has been a qualitative researcher since 1998. She started as a graduate at Leapfrog Research & Planning and has also worked at Firefish and TRBi (now Synovate). She co-founded Razor Research in 2007. She founded The Nest Research in 2020. She is currently Chair of AQR.

Katariina is the Director of Hannelius Recruitment.
Katariina enjoyed nine wonderful years at RPCushing (Aspire), expanding her role over the years to head up a team. With almost a decade's experience, Katariina felt she was ready to fly solo and in the summer of 2013 took the plunge and launched her own venture. Now Hannelius Recruitment has a team of 5.

Over the years Katariina has particularly recruited for more operational roles within market research from programming, data processing, panel management to sales and project management. She covers all levels, from junior to the highest senior level. Katariina has an incredible network of friends and contacts in the industry.

No Biography Available
Aakanksha has over 15 years of experience in research working with financial services, media, telecom, public sector, technology and digital clients; across complex quantitative and qualitative projects. Her experience spans across both B2B and B2C clients. She has been instrumental in setting up large studies including customer experience, segmentation, difficult to reach audience types and brand equity. She has worked across client side and agency side and brings the best of both worlds.

Aakanksha has completed her masters in marketing and holds a degree in electronics engineering. The best part of her work experience is she has always worked 4 days a week, never missed a school concert (almost never), has a second job as a dance choreographer and loves outdoor sports.
Sinéad Jefferies is a recognised insight industry leader, drawing on 20+ years’ experience, leading teams both client-side and in agencies, with an in-depth understanding of what’s needed to deliver excellence in insight. Since March 2020 she has been a member of the MRS Main Board.

She has been working remotely from her home in France since 2015, successfully navigating challenges around communication, impact, team management and relationship-building. Sinéad founded Vela in 2020 to bring her unique blend of experience to support others through training, coaching and consultancy in everything to do with flexible, remote & hybrid working. She also continues to work as a freelance insight consultant.

To try and bring balance to a hectic world of working from home, running a business and being a mum, Sinéad escapes either by cycling or running around the roads and hills of the Dordogne, or by baking up way more cookies, brownies and cakes than her family should really eat.

Susanne has been working in the market research industry for more than 10 years. Previously leading teams at Research Now, she moved over to Lucid in 2016 as their employee number one to help build and scale up their European Operations team.
Over the years, she has hired and managed teams in various countries, time zones, multiple languages and cultural backgrounds.
As Lucid continues to evolve, she is now focused on global clients and how technology solutions can impact their day to day work.
Deborah is a highly experienced and future focused insight consultant. In 2013, following a number of years in agency and clientside marketing and research roles, Deborah set up Camino Insight with a view to focusing on the issues that are shaping our lifestyles.
Deborah’s interest in the future of work, community and urban design began in earnest when she swapped her ’regular’ life in London for a much less predicable life as a Digital Nomad. The challenges she faced when taking Camino on the road were echoed by so many of the other remote workers she met, that she decided to make this important area the focus of her work moving forward.
To expand her skillset and knowledge, Deborah conducted a self-funded year-long ethnographic study into the Digital Nomad movement #MyLifeAsADigitalNomad AKA #LocationIndependent. The intention of the study was to understand the motivations, needs, experiences and future of this growing audience, and the changing role of the workplace in facilitating these. Deborah has presented the findings of her study at conferences and coworking spaces, and her segmentation of Digital Nomad typologies has been used as a framework for an app designed to service this community. She continues to expand her knowledge in this area in order to be a resource for businesses and remote workers seeking to improve their quality of work and life.

Deborah Simmons
Founder & Director, Camino Insight

+447813 130558
Daniel has over 15 years of experience in the research industry internationally having worked in cities such as Sydney, Beijing and back home here in London. The majority of Daniel’s career has been on the operational/panel/project management side of businesses focussed on managing teams and delivering research to all sectors. Having lived and worked in different countries and cultures, Daniel is a promoter of flexible working. A happy and motivated employee tends to bring a high level of energy, commitment, persistence, and creativity to their job. Many factors contribute to being successful in business such as a sound strategy, a marketable product or service, and having efficient processes but it is the people within the organisation that need to execute on the strategies, plans, and processes to make a business successful. Daniel is currently a Senior Director at Prodege.

Alex has almost 15 years’ well-rounded experience in research across syndicated, agency and clientside, in almost every sector from FMCG to public sector and B2B in consistently mixed methods. With specific expertise in ‘male’ industries from video games to premium drinks, he is also a frequent user of many categories he’s contributed to developing.

Before lockdown being adamant that the office is the only place to get work done effectively (qual fieldwork notwithstanding), despite losing large chunks of his front room to home officing he’s come to appreciate both the scope for productivity in flexible working, and the significant mental benefits brought from it.


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