Day#361: Are Research Labs the best solution?

Day#361: Are Research Labs the best solution?

Hey Researchers today I want to discuss something a little controversial and that is the necessity of Research labs. I say controversial because I find some researchers blatantly feel like it is the only way to run research sessions. There are theories around a session being tainted by the state of the environment and that I do agree with. For example if you run a very concentration intensive exercise and are running it in a bustling coffee shop your participants will be very distracted. However that does not mean that you will firmly require a kitted out lab, the cost of setting up a lab can be daunting even for some middle sized organisations, so think carefully before advocating for this as the necessity. I often simply book a boardroom and run my sessions there. I have my phone recording the session placed face down on the table, this is obviously with the participants consent. Then I generally have an observer which I have prepped in advance who also joins. 

I would say if the lab is being received with some apprehension and there is a long list of other research based requirements I would probably have the lab lower below a team of valuable and knowledgeable resources. As well as tools that can make researchers’ lives easier. The resources sound obvious but maybe if you use your departments full budget on tools and a nice big set up, it may not help if you are always over worked because there are only two researchers doing all the work. A lab can be expensive considering the necessity is the important part, I also think sometimes you want to run sessions off-site to remove the bias that may be created if conducted on-site. This is obviously not to say that labs are never the right solution, I think if you work at a nice big name and you are advocating for research and the company is enthusiastic then go ahead. Build a lab, get all the equipment and live every researcher’s dream haha! However not everyone is that lucky, and even in big companies there is a dedicated budget to each department. 

You often hear people say pick your battles, maybe you have different thoughts on this but I don’t necessarily want to just be known as the person who fights for every single cause. Fight for the causes that are worthy and the ones that can have the most impact. There are a lot of facets of research that have room for improvements in organisations, and I feel forcing a company to create a lab to conduct research can sometimes seem like you are holding research hostage unless you get the lab. Especially if you are at a company that is a bit apprehensive, ensuring that you make it as easy as possible to provide good solid results at least in the start is crucial to build buy in. I hope this helped, if you have any questions on labs please do reach out. Happy researching until next time. 

Bye for now

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