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Online Voting for Elections During the Coronavirus


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary adds hundreds of words or phrases annually based on tracking word usage throughout the year. The more a word or phrase shows up in published materials and electronic publications, the greater its chances for inclusion. So for 2020, our money is on “social distancing.” 

Social distancing is the act of staying away from other people to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. As a result of social distancing, many businesses and organizations have had to rethink their operations, especially when it comes to holding an election.

Electronic Voting During the Coronavirus

While many businesses have been able to quickly adapt to our new reality by moving operations online and communicating with co-workers, clients, and customers through instant messaging and video communication tools, it does complicate things when it comes to holding an election, in which voters are generally supposed to be physically present and voting by secret ballot.

Of course, since votes are supposed to be confidential, those video chats and other means of communication that organizations have been gravitating toward as a result of the pandemic are of no use when it comes to an election. However, an online survey (or online polling) can be easily conducted to hold the election as scheduled and keep voters’ choices anonymous. 

Now, we’re talking about using an online survey to hold a presidential election (that’s a whole other scenario). But we did recently have a customer ask if we could help him with electronic voting as it pertained to electing individuals to company leadership positions. Our answer? A resounding “YES!” 

You can use electronic voting to elect people to steering committees, council positions, board membership, and more, all with online surveys.

Electronic Voting Through Online Surveys

There are a variety of online polling websites out there, but let’s look at the ease with which you can conduct your “electronic election” with SurveyLegend. And, it’s not that much different than creating any other type of survey.

1. Create the Survey

You can easily create a multiple choice survey (or image choice survey with the candidates’ smiling faces) and set it so that only a “Single Selection” can be made. If you like, you can also make it so that voters cannot skip over any selection by activating the “Answer is Required” setting.

2. Share the Survey

Upon completion of your survey, you’ll receive a link that can be shared with anyone via email or social media. Privacy is likely to be a concern, so you can restrict access to the survey by assigning a password to it. This will limit access to only those who you’ve supplied with the password. Want to see our password protection in action? Check it out at the bottom of this page.

3. Collect Votes

Our Survey Logics will ensure that each voter can only submit their ballot one time, and you can also keep track of who has or hasn’t responded even while keeping the voting anonymous. Every response to your survey is presented in real-time, enabling you to follow the feedback live. 

4. Analyze the Results

Once you’ve collected all (or enough) votes, you can download the data into an Excel or CSV format, or simply export it directly to Google Drive. You can even share your real-time analytics page, publicly or privately, depending on the nature of your election.

The Importance of Online Voting Security

When a voter casts their ballot, they expect their choice to remain anonymous. And when you collect the data, you expect the information to remain private. So, you need an “electronic election” process that’s secure. 

At SurveyLegend, we like to say that we’re as secure as your bank. We’ve achieved an Extended Validation Certificate, which can only be obtained after a company has been thoroughly investigated and certified by a valid EV Certificate Issuer. All data transfers within our site, app, and surveys go through highly encrypted connections, and we are compliant with the GDPR. Your security is our priority!

Want to learn more about SurveyLegend? Take a socially-distant tour of our services! Or, if you’d like to talk more about setting up surveys for online voting, drop us a line at any time.

The Importance of Getting Employee Feedback During the Coronavirus Crisis


Although remote work has picked up in recent years with nearly 20% of employees working from home a few days or even every day of the week, COVID-19 (coronavirus) has completely changed the game. Now, just about any employee that can work from home is being required to work from home to help stop the spread of the virus. 

Many employees who have shifted to online-only work still regularly communicate with their co-workers through instant messaging and video conferencing calls. However, gaining employee feedback may be pushed to the side as leadership focuses on cutting costs and other measures that can help keep their business afloat while navigating these uncharted waters. 

During this coronavirus crisis, employees have questions and concerns that need to be addressed. They may also need reassurance that their jobs are secure, or blunt honesty if jobs are not secure and they need to begin thinking of a Plan B. Much of this can be communicated quickly through surveys. While there are many different types of survey methods, in the age of coronavirus, a simple online survey and follow-up is your best bet.

Employee Feedback Surveys and COVID-19

In the not-so-distant past, employee feedback surveys, also known as employee engagement surveys, often revolved around job satisfaction, the performance of co-workers and superiors, and areas for improvement. While those questions can still be asked, they may need some slight adjustments in our new reality of social distancing. Of course, the pandemic brings up a whole host of other questions that you may want to ask on a survey as well.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently provided a list of answers to the most common coronavirus questions employees and employers have. You may be able to use this list to draft some survey questions. 

We’ve also put together some feedback example questions to help get you started crafting a coronavirus-related survey. Please note that most of these would need a follow-up multiple choice question to make the survey more valuable.

  1. Are you satisfied with the company’s response to the coronavirus crisis?
  2. Do you feel you have the necessary support and resources you need to effectively work from home during the coronavirus crisis? 
  3. Are your co-workers generally available when you need them on communication channels during business hours?
  4. Are you happy working for home, at least temporarily, until COVID-19 is eradicated? 
  5. Do you still think employee evaluations are appropriate during these unusual times? Should we still conduct employee reviews?

Why Employee Feedback is Important During the Coronavirus

In a matter of months, our world has completely changed. We don’t know when things will get back to normal—or just how close to normal they’ll get back to. This has left a lot of employees concerned about their health, finances, and careers. By sending out an employee feedback online survey, you’ll accomplish the following:

  • Increase communication with leadership. When working remotely, some employees tend to only speak with co-workers with minimal frequency. A survey from the leadership team increases communication between different levels of the ladder.
  • Show empathy and understanding. Most of us are accustomed to hiding our fears, especially at work. But today, the concerns of everyone are heightened. By encouraging sharing feedback, you can let employees know you’re aware of how they’re feeling and show them you care.
  • Provide information and advice. Employees may not be aware of some of the employee health benefits that they can use during these trying times (such as telemedicine if they’re feeling ill, or free counseling if they just need to unload). Following the survey, you can provide this information in an attachment. 

What to Do with the Results of Your COVID-19 Employee Feedback Survey

Following any confidential employee engagement survey, including those related to the coronavirus pandemic, employers should:

  • Interpret the Results. Kudos on any positive feedback you get (keep it up)! However, what you really want to focus on are the lowest-scoring questions, as this is where your company could improve the most. You may also want to divide the data into smaller groups, such as teams or departments, and ask yourself, “why does Team A feel supported working remotely, yet Team B feels support is lacking?”
  • Communicate the Results. Results should be shared with employees, otherwise, they won’t believe you’re taking the survey seriously and won’t engage in future ones. Be sure to thank them for participating, highlight some of the positive feedback, and let them know what the next steps will be based upon some of the lower-scoring questions. 
  • Implement Decisions. Taking action can feel overwhelming depending on the size of the task, and it can be even more difficult when you’re adjusting to remote work due to the coronavirus. However, at least try to make small adjustments so that you can let employees know their voices were heard; you can also mention, that when the dust settles, bigger improvements may be coming. 

Create Your Next Employee Feedback Survey with SurveyLegend!

Anxious to hear how your employees feel about their new remote work during this unprecedented time in your company, and the world’s history? Create an employee feedback survey with SurveyLegend (and view a template here). 

Our pre-designed surveys are easy to create and easy on the eyes, and they’re responsive so they’ll adjust to your employees’ smaller, at-home screens or even their smartphones. Get started with SurveyLegend for free today.

Why You Should Consider a Work From Home Survey


Even before the coronavirus made working from home a requirement for a lot of workers, many were already in the habit of working remotely. In fact, statistics show that, in 2018, there were more than four million remote workers in the United States – an increase of 140% from just 13 years prior. 

So, how do you know if a work from home policy is right for your company? Should your employees be allowed to work remote full time, or just a day or two per week? And just how will you monitor productivity among remote workers?

There are a lot of questions to ask yourself, and to ask of your employees. Likewise, employees may have some questions for you about your expectations if such a policy is enacted. Obtaining all of this feedback can be accomplished with opinion polls or a work from home survey.

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Working from home (WFH) may be one person’s heaven and another’s hell. Some may find themselves more productive than ever, while others may feel completely isolated (even before social distancing was a thing). 

So, here are some of the most agreed upon pros and cons of remote work, which can serve as the basis for some of your work from home survey questions that you’ll create later.

Pros of Working From Home

  1. Save Time and Money. When you WFH, there’s no need to get onto a crowded bus or subway, or spend time commuting in the car in heavy traffic. This also saves you money on public transportation, gas, and costly wear-and-tear on your car. Of course, you can also prepare food at home (maybe even a healthier meal) and skip the trips to overpriced restaurants.
  2. Increased Comfort. Yes, unless you have an important video call, you can often work in your pajamas and skip the hair and makeup. You can also work from the comfort of your own couch, with a pet curled up next to you.
  3. Better Work/Life Balance. WFH often means more flexibility. This means you can work when you feel most productive, as long as you get the work done. So, you might be able to attend more school events, have breakfast with the family, or make more dinner dates with a spouse or friend due to your flexible schedule.
  4. Your Own Working Environment. No more noisy co-workers. No more drab office atmosphere. No more cube! When you WFH, you can create your own office, and who knows, it could be a park one day and a coffee shop the next!
  5. Better Health. Studies have shown that remote workers don’t get sick as often as their in-office colleagues. This could be because they’re eating healthier and working out at home, feeling less stressed, or avoiding exposure to the countless germs that can be brought into a closed workspace.

Cons of Working From Home

  1. Less Interaction with Colleagues. Sure, you may have online meetings and video chats from time to time, but you do lose a lot of the in-person interaction and camaraderie. For some, especially extroverts, this lack of social interaction is a major downfall.
  2. No Off Switch. WFH can make it hard to separate your business and personal life. Because there’s no commute—a hard stop for the day for most people—some remote workers wind up working long into the evening.
  3. Too Many Distractions. Should you throw in a load of laundry? Run to the grocery store? Catch a show on Netflix? These are distractions the remote worker may consider, and this doesn’t even factor in having a spouse, kids, or pet seeking your time and attention.
  4. Lack of Collaboration. Despite the aforementioned video chats, collaboration still becomes more challenging when WFH. Some things are just easier and quicker to explain in person, but when your colleague isn’t sitting next to you, you’re less likely to ask for help or to brainstorm.
  5. Lack of Productivity. Now, some will argue that they’re more productive at home (and some studies show this to be true). But some people also need the pressure of having someone always looking over their shoulder. Without it, they may lack motivation and get less work done. 

Creating a Work from Home Survey

Armed with some of the most commonly cited pros and cons of remote work, it’s time to make those employee or employer surveys! Whether you’re an employee wanting to make a WFH policy recommendation to your company, or an employer wanting to know if your staff thinks adopting a remote working policy is a good idea, online surveys can help. 

Online work from home surveys can give employers the answers they seek regarding adopting a WFH policy, and give employees the ammo they need to help put one into effect. They can also allow employers to check in on employees to see how new policies adopted in the wake of the coronavirus crisis are going. 

Luckily, SurveyLegend makes it easy! Employers and employees can create work from home surveys online. Each survey is pre-designed—making them easy to create—and they’re also pretty easy on the eyes! Check out some of our Employee/Company templates here, and then get started creating your surveys with SurveyLegend for free!

Market Research Surveys: Don’t Let COVID-19 Slow Your Business Down


There are thousands of market research companies in the United States that participate in market research surveys. Each of these companies tries to gather feedback and opinions from consumers to gauge their interest in, awareness of, or satisfaction with a particular product or service.

Oftentimes, market research is conducted by holding face-to-face interviews or through focus groups in which a select number of people within a particular target audience are gathered to sample, view, or discuss a product or service. 

But then the coronavirus happened.

Today, COVID-19 has forced many types of marketing research companies to pump the brakes on a number of their research initiatives. In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, most states have completely shut down any non-essential businesses in which work can’t be conducted from a distance. For market research companies, holding in-person interviews and focus groups is no longer safe or legal.

Ways to Conduct Market Research Surveys During the Coronavirus Crisis

Although we seem to be bombarded with bad news regarding the coronavirus hourly, there is some good news for market research companies. While in-person consumer surveys and focus groups are off the table, there are other types of studies that keep participants socially distant while allowing you to conduct market research! Here’s a look at four of them.

1. Telephone Research

While these have dwindled in popularity as people began to perceive them as invasions of their privacy, telephone surveys are still a valid method of collecting research data. In addition, random digit dialing (RDD) can reach both listed and unlisted numbers, improving your sampling accuracy.

One more thing to consider: COVID-19 has many people self-isolating at home, with little to do. While just a few months ago they may have had a tendency to hang up on your interviewer, today they may be much more willing to spend a little time on the phone as a break from their social distancing boredom.

2. Mail Sampling

Like telephone surveys, these have dwindled in popularity over the years with the advent of the internet. However, they can be valuable during the coronavirus crisis, especially for market research surveys that involve taste-testing or product trials.

Market research companies can ship products to potential customers, providing instructions on what to do with the product and what to record. Respondents can then mail back their consumer survey (along with any non-consumable product in a paid shipping box) or jump online to answer questions about the product (see #4 for more).

3. Virtual Interviews & Focus Groups

Thanks to online video communication tools like Zoom and even Facebook video calling, market research companies can still meet with their subjects “face-to-face,” just in a virtual manner. This is ideal when the researcher needs to build trust in order to get more personal with questions or needs to see the subject to gauge their physical expressions and body language. 

For focus groups, in which members often openly converse and play off of one another with the help of a moderator, these video communication tools allow multiple people to be viewed on-screen at one time. It’s like the Brady Bunch intro with interviewees instead of Bradys!

4. Online Surveys

MIT recently revealed that the average American spends 24 hours a week online, and you can bet that with COVID-19 keeping many of them indoors, that number has skyrocketed. So, not only are online surveys a great way to reach a wide audience of people across the world, most of them have a lot more time on their hands to take the surveys (especially if an incentive is offered, such as an Amazon gift card).

Online market research surveys and analyses are also cost-efficient, since there’s no money spent on paper, printing, postage, or an interviewer (if you’re sending out a product for sampling, you can have respondents follow-up online to encourage those who may not get around to mailing back their results). Additionally, many online survey tools provide in-depth analysis of survey data, saving you from having to spend money on further research once the survey is complete. 

Conduct Your Market Research with SurveyLegend!

While market research may not be considered “essential” in these unusual times, at SurveyLegend, we know it’s critical for your business and your clients. Our website allows you to easily create beautiful and professional looking surveys that will engage participants. 

Our templates are responsive to catch those on their smartphones, and we also provide insanely insightful real-time analytics. Here are four market research surveys you may want to check out:

You’re also invited to take a tour of our features, and then sign up for free!

How to Cite a Survey in MLA, APA, and CMOS Style


When you’re trying to build a case for something or need to increase credibility for a particular argument, a great way to start is to cite a survey. You can do this by finding an existing, published survey that supports your position, or by creating your own survey and sending it out, hoping that the majority of responses will favor what you believe to be true. 

Regardless of survey results, however, it’s necessary to let your audience know where and how you obtained the information in your report. That’s where citations come in.

What is a Citation?

No, we’re not talking about that traffic citation you got a while back. In the world of research and writing, a citation is how you inform readers that a reference or quote you’re using in your research came from another source. 

Citations also provide your audience with a method of finding the source again. In an internet blog such as this, it could be as simple as including a hyperlink that directs the reader to the original site housing the information you referenced. 

When it’s not possible to link, such as in a printed piece, it’s important to include the following information:

  • Author’s (or authors’) name(s)
  • Title of the work
  • Publisher’s name
  • Publication date
  • Page(s) or section(s) referenced

Benefits of Citing Sources

Because of the wealth of information at our fingertips online, “borrowing” information without giving credit is all too common. So, the most obvious benefit of properly citing an outside source is that it protects you from accusations of plagiarism. But there are other great benefits:

  • Citing outside sources lends credibility to your ideas or arguments.
  • Citing sources shows that significant research was involved.
  • If the information you’re citing happens to be wrong or inaccurate, adding a citation absolves you of having to take full ownership of the misinformation.

Sourcing a Survey

When you want to reference a survey, you need to let readers know where the survey results came from. Otherwise, they will have a tendency to not believe you. Sourcing a survey properly comes down to whether you conducted the survey yourself or are referencing a published survey, as well as whether you are using Modern Language Association (MLA) style, American Psychological Association (APA) style, or Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) in your writing. 

Citing a Survey You Conducted

When citing a survey that you conducted on your own, clarify that you designed and distributed the survey in the body of your content rather than citing it at the end of the survey. You should explain the methodology you used (e.g., “an online survey distributed to 1,000 graduate students”). While not necessary, including the survey itself, either as an appendix or through an online link, helps your audience better understand the methodology. You may even choose to disclose data sets, being sure to remove any personal or private information, in a spreadsheet.

Speaking of anonymity, if you refer to a comment made by a respondent in your survey, always refer to them as “a respondent,” not by name. You can, however, give them pseudonyms to avoid repetition as long as you note that the names have been changed to protect privacy.

Citing Published Survey Data

When citing a survey conducted by someone else, whether it’s the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Google Trends or a Gallup Poll, you need to provide your readers with the source. As mentioned previously, you can provide a hyperlink within your online report, otherwise you need to cite your survey using MLA, APA, or CMOS guidelines.

MLA and APA guidelines are similar. You should use in-text citations that correlate with a “Works Cited” list as the end of the report. For example, say you were referencing a statistic from this Pew Research Center survey on internet usage, published by Andrew Perrin and Madhu Kumar. In the body of your report, you’d cite the authors’ last names and the page number (since this is a web page, use page 1) and put their words into quotations. 

Today, everyone is online. In fact, “about three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online” (Perrin & Kumar 1). 

Then, in your “Works Cited” list at the end of the report, you’d give the complete details or the citation.

Perrin, Andrew, and Kumar, Madhu. “About three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online.” Pew Research Center, 25 July 2019, p. 1

In CMOS, you would instead include a superscript number that correlates to the source, which will be noted at the bottom of the page and in the Bibliography at the end of the report (similar to a “Works Cited” page). So, in the body of your report, that same sentence would look like this:

Today, everyone is online. In fact, “about three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online”.¹ 

At the end of that same page, you would insert a small footnote with that superscript number attached for reference:

1Perrin, Andrew, and Kumar, Madhu. About three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online. (Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, 2019)

Again, this same information would appear, in a list along with other citations, in a final Bibliography at the end of the report.

It’s important to understand that we’re painting with a broad brush; citing surveys with MLA, APA, and CMOS comes with little quirks, and there are exceptions to many rules. To gain a full understanding of how to cite surveys with each style, you may want to refer to Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) which gets very in-depth.

Create Your Surveys with SurveyLegend

Now that you have a better understanding of how to cite a survey, are you ready to start creating one? SurveyLegend offers both fun and professional survey templates you can use for any industry, and they’re responsive, so they’ll scale down to the size of a smartphone. Swing by the SurveyLegend website and take a tour of our capabilities to discover all that you can do.

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