The tech industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities, which makes sense, considering most tech companies are web-based and technology is the greatest resource when working from home. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless Internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office, rather than at home.

The apps on this list offer more than that. They help you tackle advanced techniques, like gathering images, recording audio, integrating with calendars, and crafting questions that get unbiased answers. Some are best online, while others shine in mobile apps or in offline world on a clipboard—it's true, several of these survey apps allow you to print out your questionnaire, then add the results to the app. This roundup focuses on survey tools offering standout features, with an emphasis on apps that make it easy to get started.
Assimilation effects occur when responses to two questions are more consistent or closer together because of their placement in the questionnaire. We found an example of an assimilation effect in a Pew Research poll conducted in November 2008 when we asked whether Republican leaders should work with Obama or stand up to him on important issues and whether Democratic leaders should work with Republican leaders or stand up to them on important issues. People are more likely to say that Republican leaders should work with Obama when the question was preceded by the one asking what Democratic leaders should do in working with Republican leaders (81% vs. 66%). However, when people were first asked about Republican leaders working with Obama, fewer said that Democratic leaders should work with Republican leaders (71% vs. 82%).
Pew Research Center pretests all of its questionnaires, typically on the evening before a survey is scheduled to begin. The staff then meet the following day to discuss the pretest and make any changes to the questionnaire before the survey goes into the field. Information from pretesting is invaluable when making final decisions about the survey questionnaire.
When it comes to a company’s work from home policy, everyone is different. Your productivity and overall success as a remote employee depends entirely on your preferred work style. That’s also the reason it’s hard to find any solid data on whether or not people are more productive at home. Anecdotally, it seems to boil down to personality type and the job you do. We’re all different, and some of us can’t fathom getting work done with a TV nearby and all our comforts of home surrounding us, while others find it a struggle to stay focused among office chatter and other distractions.

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Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.
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