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May 2020 Survey Finds Employees Are Happier Than Pre-Pandemic

CNBC and SurveyMonkey Survey Aims to Help Organizations Measure Employee Job Satisfaction

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. and SAN MATEO, CA, May 18, 2020 – CNBC, First in Business Worldwide, and SurveyMonkey (Nasdaq: SVMK), a leading global survey software company, today announced the results of their latest Workforce Survey.

CNBC and SurveyMonkey together polled over 9,000 workers in the U.S. to measure the impacts of COVID-19 on employee satisfaction. Nearly half of all respondents (48%) noted they are currently doing their jobs remotely. Among all workers—working at home or not—the latest results show an uptick in employee happiness: the survey’s Workforce Happiness Index is an optimistic 73 out of 100 as of May 2020, ticking up from 71 last year.

As states and businesses begin to reopen, the survey provides insights on how America’s workforce feels about the way their employers are handling the crisis and preparing to keep them safe, engaged, and effective on the job. While workers express they are happier than they were before the pandemic, they also say their jobs have gotten harder.

Key findings from the May 2020 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey include:

  • Sentiment among all workers (remote and non-remote): Over half (54%) of all workers surveyed say it has gotten “somewhat harder” or “much harder” to do their job effectively compared with before the coronavirus outbreak. The perceived hardship does not differ by gender, age, or whether workers have been able to work remotely in recent weeks. Those in positions of greater responsibility (VP and higher) are more likely to say work has gotten “much harder.” Still, happiness across a number of dimensions is up: 54% of workers say they are “very satisfied” with their job, up from 47% the last time the survey was given (December 2019.). By a better than three-to-one margin (38% to 11%) more workers indicate that they are happier in their role since the pandemic started than say they now wish they had a different job.
  • Sentiment among remote workers: 44% of those working remotely are happier to have their job now than they were before the outbreak. 88% are confident that their organization’s leadership is making the right business decisions to manage through the current environment. 18% have considered quitting their job in the last three months. 38% say they would like to work from home more often than they used to once things are safe again. Another 19% want to continue working from home all the time. These numbers are pretty much equal across all age groups.
  • Sentiment among non-remote workers: 32% are happier to have their job now than they were before the outbreak. 79% are confident their organization’s leadership is making the right business decisions to manage through the current environment. 22% have considered quitting their job in the last three months. 75% say they’ve felt safe going to work during the pandemic. 80% are satisfied with measures their company has put in place to keep them safe at work.

“Job satisfaction is up but there is also widespread anxiety among those with jobs today,” said Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey’s chief research officer. “Fully 44 percent of workers report being worried that they’ll lose a job or have their hours cut in the weeks ahead, with concern spiking to about six in 10 among Hispanic and Asian workers.”

The members of CNBC’s Workforce Executive Council (WEC)—which includes select chief human resource officers, diversity and inclusion leaders, and talent and benefits executives spanning various industries—helped CNBC and SurveyMonkey design the questionnaire, providing their expertise and offering insights on the critical issues they face. Members also provided analysis of the survey’s results, to be included in CNBC’s coverage on-air and online. To learn more about WEC, go to:

To download the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey template to help measure employee job satisfaction at your organization, go to:

CNBC will reveal the results of the CNBC|SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey today, Monday, May 18th, throughout CNBC’s Business Day programming. For more information on the survey including the full results and methodology and in-depth articles, go to:


This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted May 4-10, 2020 among a national sample of 9,059 workers in the United States. Respondents for this survey were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points. Data have been weighted initially for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over, then weighted for age, race, sex, education, employment status, and geography using Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey to reflect the demographic composition of United States employed population. 

For more information contact:

Sandra Gharib

Jennifer Dauble

About SurveyMonkey:
SurveyMonkey is a leading global survey software company on a mission to power the curious. The company’s platform empowers over 17 million active users to measure and understand feedback from employees, customers, website and app users, and the market. SurveyMonkey’s products, enterprise solutions and integrations enable more than 335,000 organizations to solve daily challenges, from delivering better customer experiences to increasing employee retention. With SurveyMonkey, organizations around the world can transform feedback into business intelligence that drives growth and innovation.

About CNBC:
CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business content consumed by more than 340 million people per month across all platforms. The network’s 14 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC’s highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also offers content through its vast portfolio of digital products such as:, which provides real-time financial market news and information to CNBC’s investor audience; CNBC Make It, a digital destination focused on making you smarter about how you earn, save and spend your money; CNBC PRO, a premium service that provides in-depth access to Wall Street; a suite of CNBC mobile apps for iOS and Android devices; Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Siri voice interfaces; and streaming services including Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Samsung Smart TVs. To learn more, visit

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit

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