You can request a standing desk at work, but there is no guarantee this request will be granted.
Workplaces that offer similar ergonomic accommodations and emphasize health and wellness are more likely to provide the desk, while workplaces with space constraints and a focus on uniformity are less likely.
Choosing the right time to make your request, doing your research, and approach the subject carefully can improve your chances, as well as obtaining a medical recommendation. In this article, we explain how you can boost your chances of getting a standing desk at work.
Signs a Standing Desk Request Will Go Well
Many workplaces do what they can to improve employee satisfaction, but you can expect better results if you note these conditions:
- An emphasis on employee health and wellness
- Existing ergonomic accommodations
- Higher personal performance and infrequent requests
These don’t guarantee you’ll get a standing desk, but the climb should not be as steep.
Your Workplace Emphasizes Health and Wellness:
Many workplaces put the health and wellness of employees at the forefront, noting additional benefits such as:
- Greater employee satisfaction
- Increased productivity
- Fewer sick days
If your employer already offers benefits such as gym memberships, wellness checkups, or meal planning services, they’ll have a heightened interest in the benefits of a standing desk.
Read More >> Benefits of a Standing Desk?
You Notice Existing Ergonomic Accommodations:
The most obvious sign that your request will go well is if you see others with standing desks in your workplace, but your employer might not be aware of the benefits yet.
Other signs of ergonomic accommodations include:
- Split keyboards
- Ergonomic chairs (or versatile seating)
- Monitor risers
Employers that show concern for physical well-being should be more receptive to a standing desk request.
You Perform Well and Don’t Make Frequent Requests:
If you’ve recently had a good review (or expect one) and don’t ask for much, any request you make should go well.
Employers are more likely to invest in your interests when you have proven their investments pay off.
They want to ensure you continue moving forward with the same tenacity and have the tools you need to keep up the good work.
If you have a good relationship with your upline, your request for a standing desk should be received well.
Signs a Standing Desk Request May Take More Effort
While these should not discourage you from requesting a standing desk, prepare to work harder to convince your employer if:
- Your workplace uses the same furniture for everyone
- There’s not much room to accommodate a standing desk
- Your position faces or interacts with the public
Standing desks don’t work as well in these situations, but you may have luck with alternative requests like a desk converter.
Your Workplace Focuses on a Uniform Appearance:
Uniformity is a staple of many work environments, and this can instantly dash your chances of getting a standing desk at work.
If everyone in your office needs the same equipment, the logistics of your request extend beyond your desk alone.
Your employer may need to consider providing everyone with a standing desk before you can upgrade.
Read More >> Top 5 Best Wood Standing Desks (2022 Review)
There’s Not a Lot of Room:
Some layouts don’t have the room to accommodate a standing desk, especially if it covers more area than your old desk.
Another concern here is if the standing desk would have you staring at someone's workstation.
Anticipate this issue if you work in a cubicle or open floor plan environment.
You Work Facing the Public:
If you work as a receptionist or in another position where you interact with the public, a standing desk can appear uninviting and cause unease for workplace visitors.
The public still has an expectation when walking into your environment, and your higher-ups might not be ready to adjust the image.
How to Request a Standing Desk at Work
The path to request a standing desk at work involves:
- Finding the right time to make your request
- Checking into existing company policies regarding furniture requests
- Researching the benefits of standing desks at work
- Anticipating discourse and/or objections
- Making the request (ideally in person)
By breaking the process into these steps, you can tackle one issue at a time and ensure you don’t miss out on prep work that strengthens your request.
Find the Right Time
The best times to request a standing desk at work are when:
- They’re ironing out the budget
- Wellness initiatives kick-off
- You’ve finished a major project
- You’ve received (or anticipate) a good review
You want to choose a time when your higher-ups have the financial opportunity to afford your request and see it line up with their goals.
You should also pay attention to the mood of your workplace. If everyone is having a hard time, it’s better to wait until the smoke clears.
Check Into Existing Company Policies:
Many companies have existing policies regarding furniture requests, specifically regarding ergonomic options.
Check-in your employee handbook or ask your Human Resources department for information that can help you make this request.
You should also inquire about who you need to request. While some workplaces need you to head to a specific department, others only require the request to go through your upline.
Research the Benefits of Standing Desks at Work:
Standing desks offer plenty of benefits, but you need to make sure you address how your employer benefits from this investment.
Standing desks directly impact your health and condition, but you need to transpose this into workplace benefits, such as:
- Increased energy
- Greater productivity
- Greater chance of success
These come directly from the comfort and energy offered to you.
Find a Few Standing Desk Options that Work for You:
It’s good to know what you want, but showing flexibility can increase the chances of the approval of your request.
Find a few specific standing desk options at different budgetary levels, but don’t get too attached to any of them. Your employer might work with a specific supplier or already know what they want in the workplace.
Expect Discourse or Objections:
On top of understanding the benefits of a standing desk, anticipate objections and questions regarding your request.
The person you are asking needs to ensure this is the best fit for the work environment, and they may bring up issues such as:
- The high cost of a standing desk
- The size of a standing desk
- Disputes regarding the benefits of standing desks
This discourse opens the opportunity to further prove the merit of your request.
It’s also important to prepare yourself for a rejected request. You may need to consider standing desk alternatives or wait for a better time to make your request.
Make the Request in Person:
Make your request for a standing desk in person. This allows you enough opportunity to discuss the request and shows you are serious about it.
Schedule an appointment or tag this onto an existing meeting you have with the point of contact, but make sure you respect their time.
Pay attention to your phrasing. You want to display the benefits of a standing desk without making it sound like you can’t complete your work without one.
Don’t expect an immediate yes or no; they may need more time to consult the budget, require a doctor’s note (for medical accommodations), or need you to request at another time.
While making the request seems intimidating, you never know the answer until you ask. You might be surprised.