Standing desks are becoming more common in workplaces, but many employees do not have them simply because they do not know how to approach company management to get one.
If you want a standing desk, you do not stand alone. According to Google Trends, the level of search interest in standing desk has skyrocketed in the past few years. Even the White House requested $700,000 worth of standing desks.
For if you don’t work at the White House or an office where standing desks are readily available, you can probably get one, if you ask the right way, says Kathleen Hale, founder of the Chair Free Project, a movement that eschews unhealthy sitting at work and play. According to Hale, here are five ways to get the boss to sign on the dotted line for your standing desk order, simply by presenting management with the facts.
- Make a case for cost savings
All companies want to save money, so show management how standing desks are cost effective. The vast majority of employers make wellness programs a significant part of their budget. Nearly 80% of employers provide wellness programs for their employees and spend nearly $700 per person each year to implement them. Yet, many wellness programs do not address a major obstacle to wellness: sitting desks. The research is clear that sitting in chairs for long periods of time has serious negative consequences on one’s risk of developing chronic disease, cancer, even depression. Sitting can be harmful to your health, even if you exercise. If your employer does not want the money they invest in wellness programs to go to waste, then they need to give employees the option to stand up at work. Standing for bursts of time throughout the day can promote blood flow, muscle engagement, and metabolic processes – all of which positively impact health.
- Show how employees get more done when standing
Companies make money when employees are working efficiently. Yet who has not come back from lunch and nodded off at their desk? Who hasn’t taken an hour to really get working in the morning? Even your boss can relate to these feelings of sluggishness. Imagine instead that you could avoid these low-energy moments simply by having the choice to raise up your desk. When you stand up, you can reduce feelings of fatigue and, according to research studies, significantly boost productivity.
- Explain how standing desks are hassle-free and affordable
Adding new furniture to an office can spark two thoughts: big pain and big price tag. You need to let your boss know that getting a standing desk will be hassle-free and affordable. To do this, make two specific recommendations for desks that would work well in our office space. If you work in a cubicle, it might not be possible to replace your desk, so suggest a product that can sits on a desktop. If your office has an open floor plan, your employer might be concerned about having access to an outlet. Show how outlets would remain accessible; or if that is not possible, choose a non-electric standing desk. Perhaps your company places value on activity tracking. Some desks even have built in mechanisms for tracking steps, time and distance.
- Rally the troops
Talk to other co-workers about their interest in a standing desk option. Combine your reasons for wanting a standing desk – whether for productivity, health, reduced back pain – and present them to your employer. For an added bonus, show management the ample research shows standing while working in a group promotes openness and collaboration. Brainstorming can be a breeze when everyone is standing up rather than slouched in chairs and withdrawing from the group.
Your boss or HR supervisor likely has preconceived ideas about standing desks, so arm yourself with persuasive information to overcome those misconceptions, and let your employer see the true benefits of having the option to work while standing. Once you are standing, then you can work toward walking, says Hale. “The next step to staying healthy and active during your work day is a treadmill desk.”