Can These Standing Desks End Your Zoom Fatigue?
Yasmeen Tadia once used an upside-down box as a makeshift standing desk. But as her company grew — her gourmet cotton candy business, Make Your Life Sweeter, now serves the likes of Facebook, Lyft, and Marc Jacobs — she felt it was time to upgrade her workstation. So she bought a desk from the manufacturer Vari, which moves into sitting or standing positions at the touch of a button.
The cost for this new luxury: $650. “But it was totally worth it,” says Tadia. She says she feels physically better every day, and the setup looks a lot nicer than that old box.
As the pandemic shifted people into their home offices, it shifted the desk industry as well. Standing desks (also often called “sit-stand desks”) have been around for decades, of course, but have made a noticeable home-office pivot in the past year. Many companies redesigned their desks to make setup easier (with pre-installed parts and fewer pieces), some dropped their prices, and others added customizable features, like adjusting the height through your phone.
Entrepreneurs may buy desks for themselves, but plenty are also making these desks a new kind of employee perk. “Whether it’s a stipend, reimbursement, or making the purchase altogether, businesses want to provide a sit-stand desk for their employees’ home offices,” says Scott Hierlinger, VP of interior design and managing principal at Nelson Worldwide.
There’s good reason to do this. “Freedom to vary working posture is critical for both physical and mental health,” says L. Casey Chosewood, MD, MPH, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Office for Total Worker Health. He says that as workers move around, they gain more energy and focus.
To see what all the fuss was about, I tried a Range desk from OFS. I started in a seated position and pressed the arrows to bring the desk to my perfect height (28 inches). When my foot fell asleep after 30 minutes, I changed to standing. Then I kept going back and forth, and I noticed that I had much more focus than I’d ever had before.
Tadia experienced something similar — which is why she got desks for her team, too. After all, she figured, she can’t be the only one staying sharp. “It takes a different kind of person to be an entrepreneur,” she jokes. “It’s all about your ability to think on your feet.”
Rise With Your Desk
Cost: $783 to $799
Best Feature: Durable scratch-resistant finish protects your desk from wear and tear around the house.
Cost: Starting at $499
Best Feature: Saves up to four of your favorite heights.
Cost: $599 to $699
Best Feature: Its range is large, going from 22.6 inches to 48.7 inches.