Ready to talk about standing desks and other non-traditional office tools? A few weeks ago, the New York Times offered up 5 great tips on how to use a standing desk without annoying your coworkers. I loved the advice from writer Marisa Meltzer and the bonus perspective not often thought about—how office design choices can impact colleagues and coworkers. As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to consider design from a holistic standpoint, so the article got me thinking—what are some other things people should take into consideration when they’re choosing (and using) versatile office furniture?
Do your homework. Back when we talked about the big trends impacting office design, I mentioned that many people (including myself!) get pieces like standing desk or work/play furniture, only to end up not using them. The main reason for this is that it’s easy—very easy—to buy without putting the proper thought and planning into it. Ask yourself the right questions, from why you want a standing desk to what your typical day looks like, then ask questions about your options, as well. You need to know more than just the dimensions of your desk—you need to understand how it functions and how it fits into your work life.
Value flexibility. This goes for both the products you’re considering as well as your habits. Standing desks and other design pieces that help you get up and move often have the ability to function as a “traditional” desk and transition from one mode to the other, allowing you to have the best of both worlds. There are even apps to help! Phone apps like “Stand Up” and others can help remind you to take a break from sitting to use the standing function of your desk. And flexibility goes beyond your desk—you should also be prepared to be adaptable, as well, and understand that not all tasks and situations work best when standing. Find the right balance and you’ll get the most use out of your standing desk.
Don’t be afraid to be a trendsetter. This one’s a tough one, and the New York Times article says “you will literally stand out. Embrace it.” I agree! Standing desks, treadmill desks, and other pieces are becoming more and more common in the workplace, but it might be a while before they’re the majority. In the meanwhile, consider how your originality might lend itself to other healthy office trends—start a walking group, encourage your team to take meetings on the move, and make your standing desk just one part of an overall approach to a healthier workplace.
Consider the culture. This one’s the most important one. As my colleague Jenya Adler pointed out, it’s important that businesses take the time and care to truly understand who they are and apply design principles accordingly. Consider the culture of your office and determine how a standing desk fits within that culture, and where you can take advantage of company culture to promote workplace wellness, flexible workspace, and creative ways to avoid the brain lag that can come from being cemented in one place for too long.