Cubicle Mockups and Surveys Help Employees Visualize Their Workspace

Ordering system furniture is an interesting experience for a company, the employee who sits in the cubicle as well as the furniture dealer trying to decipher your taste and budget.

Things to consider include panel heights, framed or frameless, storage solutions, seated or non-seated privacy and glass, fabric choices, work surfaces, desk accessories, electric and data, and that’s just to start.  And just when you think you got it, the dealer provides you with a bid containing pages and pages of unintelligible codes and SKU numbers that make little sense even to the most experienced. While 3D renderings do help in demystifying what you’re getting for your money, it’s challenging to compare drawings amongst competitors and really get a feel for your new system.

Cubicle mockups are an excellent way to test drive the look, feel and usability of the system. It gives you a side-by-side comparison of the products you are considering.

There is a substantial cost to the dealers for providing mockups and this requirement should be clearly written in your RFP. This lets the vendors consider whether or not the project’s budget permits them to spend money on manufacturing, delivering, set-up, knock down and removal from your office or if the cost is to be borne by you.

Most importantly, mockups promote inclusiveness with your employees who can be engaged and  provide feedback on the systems they will be sitting in.  It’s a perfect method of team collaboration and employees feel part of the selection process. So how do you gauge feedback?

Below are sample survey questions I asked at a recent mockup:

Please take a few minutes to tell us about the furniture you recently reviewed.

 Last Name_____________

 Department____________

1. Cubicle style 1 with ‘framed glass” is open enough to see my colleagues yet provides enough privacy:

I strongly agree
– I agree
 I’m neutral
– I disagree
– I strongly disagree

mockup2 mockup1

2. Cubicle style 2 with “frameless glass” is open enough to see my colleagues working yet provides enough privacy:
– I strongly agree
– I agree
– I’m neutral
– I disagree
– I strongly disagree 

mockup4 mockup3

3. There are two work surface corner styles to choose from, an “L” Shaped and a “Curved Corner” shaped. Of the two, which style provides you with the most functionality?

– L-Shaped Corner
– Curved Corner

mockup5 mockup6

4. Please tell us which manufacturer’s overall style workstation you prefer?

– I prefer Name Product Vendor (picture #1)
– I prefer Name Product Vendor (picture #2)

mockup7 mockup8

5. Please tell us why you prefer one product over the other.

6. Please rate the following storage components: 

mockup9 mockup10 mockup11

 Teaming Bench & lateral File Below (locker beside) Storage/Locker Pedestal Drawer
Enhances your space
Neutral
Would not use
Bench Seating
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Lateral File below bench
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Storage/Coat Locker
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Pedestal Drawers below work surface
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No

7. Please tell us if you would use the following Slat Wall accessories:
Unimportant
Low Importance
Neutral
Important
Very Important
Personal Shelf
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Letter Tray
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Marker Board
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Binder Tray
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Telephone Shelf
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Hanging File Holder
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
Pencil/Pad Holder
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No
In Box Tray
Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No Yes/No


8. Ergonomic Keyboard Trays. Please rate the following trays:

mockup12 mockup13 mockup14
Manufacturer 1 (apply question to each manufacturer
– Is comfortable
– Provides enough room for my knees
– Easy to adjust
– Did not like

9. Do you work with or without a keyboard tray?

– I currently have a keyboard tray and wish to continue using one
– I currently have a keyboard tray but would NOT use one in the future
– I currently do NOT have a keyboard tray and would NOT use one in the future
– I currently do NOT have a keyboard tray, but would use one of the options listed

10. Seating: Please rate the following seating options:

mockup16mockup17

Manufacturer 1 (apply question to each manufacturer)

– Is comfortable
– Is easy to adjust
– Is not comfortable

11. Additional comments. Please provide us with any feedback to help us in our decision making.

Download the Sample Survey
Mockup Systems Furniture Survey

Richard Neuman is an Owner’s Rep and Move Consultant with NY based Relocation Management Solutions, Inc. www.relocationmanagement.com, Thank you to Trisha Milner, Independent Senior Project Manager Consultant for her contribution to this article.

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7 Comments on Cubicle Mockups and Surveys Help Employees Visualize Their Workspace

  1. Trisha Milner // January 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm // Reply

    Thanks Richard for giving me credit for my contribution in your success in the questionnaire and article.

  2. A must read for every company looking for systems furniture.

  3. Love the idea, maybe a PDF checklist as a downloadable would be cool too! Hope you share with us over at tBL!! Good job Richard, as always.

  4. Colleen Johnson // January 21, 2014 at 9:40 am // Reply

    Mock-ups with options settled alot of discussions on our last remodel. Not only does a mock-up increase employee satisfaction inthe long term, it also gives the employee empowerment and buy-in as part of the process. If you are afforded the opportunity to present a mock-up do it!

    • Thanks Colleen. Employee buy-in is crucial. When management makes furniture decisions without input from the users, it often doesn’t make for a pleasant post-move when they sit in the cubes for the first time.

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