Date: September 15, 2022
The work from home trend, for the most part, is staying with us. For many of us, that means getting creative with our workspaces. Distractions (kids, dogs, neighbor’s lawn car, etc) wreak havoc on where in our houses and apartments we can work out of. And because most of us don’t have dedicated offices in our homes, it means making carefully looking at where we can set up our work space to avoid distractions yet also make the most of our home's limited space.
Whether you live in a cramped 161 square foot apartment in San Francisco or a home in the suburbs, you want to make sure that your work setup incorporates proper ergonomics (i.e standing desk and monitor mount), provides flexibility (think portable standing desks) and makes the best of small spaces.
Before you make a decision on your desk, monitor mounts, chair, and other accessories, think carefully about the areas of your house that you will be working out of. Do you have a lot of distractions and noise that cause you to move around your house to quieter spots? Do you have dead spots in your home where you don't have the cell coverage you need to receive phone calls?
Throughout this piece, we will discuss all of these factors and more and incorporate them into our list of the Best Standing Desks for for Work from Home.
Table of Contents
Assessing Your Home
If you have been working out of an office your whole life, then the transition to working from home can be challenging. A lot of people have a hard time finding the motivation to consistently get work done from home.
Before you start working from home, its good to assess the layout of your home. Do you have your kids at home for part of the day? If they're old enough to entertain themselves in a dedicated play space or safely in your back yard, you can set up shop at your kitchen table or in your living room so that you can keep an eye on them while you work. Just don't expect to get deep work done.
You will need mobility and flexibility and likely can only focus on mundane tasks while monitoring the kiddos. However you set up your workspace, remember to stand from time to time. Sitting too much on your couch can result in poor health outcomes, as we have talked about at length before.
If you don't have kids, think about where other distractions come from: loud neighbors, dogs barking, the neighbors lawn care service. If they're all coming from one part of your house, then work on the other side away from those distractions.
Finding a Space that is Quiet
If you have blocks of uninterrupted time to work and you have identified that part of your home that is quiet, its time to think about setting up a permanent work setup there. Consider yourself lucky! However, one thing you'll want to do first is test out the cell coverage in that area of your home.
Finding a Space that Allows You to Take Phone Calls
Before you plop down your desk and ergonomic work setup, test out your phone to make sure it gets reception in that spot of your house.
If you live in notoriously poor coverage areas like in Boulder, Colorado, there's nothing more frustrating than setting up your desk and accessories only to realize that you have to run to the other side of the house to make and receive phone calls.
Design Your Space with Feng Shui in Mind
Now that you have identified a good spot in your house to set up your work from home office, it's time to design your space. Consider the ancient practice of feng shui when designing.
Feng shui is the practice of creating balance with yourself and your surrounding environment. It is a philosophy that seeks to improve the flow of energy in your home. Here are some ways in which you can incorporate feng shui into your work from home environment:
1. Be Organized and Tidy
Having disorganization creates stress and unhappiness. “Chi” (or Qi) or invisible energy doesn’t exist in a room that is cluttered, according to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui.
2. Do Not Block Your Doors
The door represents your voice in feng shui, and it allows energy to flow in and throughout the room. Not allowing your door to open fully blocks the energy flow into and throughout your room.
3. Desk Should Not Face the Window
Your desk represents the hard work you put out into the world. Placing it so that it faces out into the world is alluring but distracting and it takes away from the purpose of the desk. In feng shui terms, your Qi (energetic force that powers you) goes right out the window. If you can only put it in front of a window, then pull the shades down while you are working. Either way, if you want to get work done, be like Jeff Bezos in the early Amazon days, albeit maybe with a little more inspiring design 😊:
4. No Desks in Bedrooms
Your desk symbolizes your career and adding it to your bedroom makes work-life unbalanced. A strict rule of feng shui is to keep work and rest areas separated. Having a laptop or a desk in your bedroom disrupts tranquility.
5. Choose Your Colors Wisely
Feng shui expert Ashley Cantley thinks about the best feng shui office colors this way: "White or pastels help stimulate creativity, green represents growth, black represents the water element and is associated with money, while purple represents clarity. If you feel stressed, go with earth tones."
Outdoor vs Indoor Space
If you're someone that thrives on exposure to nature, but you live in a big city like New York City or San Francisco, it can be challenging to set up an inspiring work space. Redfin recently wrote a great article with helpful tips for you city dwellers titled "Small Apartment Balcony Ideas: 11 Tips for These Tiny Spaces".
The article outlines some great ideas when setting up your outdoor balcony workspace:
- Consider new flooring - You can easily turn a small balcony into an oasis,” says Marie from Shine Rugs. “Try using a false wooden deck with a rug to achieve a relaxing, beautiful effect.” The most renter-friendly option is to use interlocking deck tiles. They snap together on top of the original decking, making for a simple upgrade perfect for any space and design.
- “Be sure to rotate through your workstation postures during the day, slowly moving away from over-comfortable chairs.” - Tyler Benner and Katie Bowman from Venn Design
If want want a product that offers you the flexibility and mobility so that you can work both indoors and outdoors, one really popular product is the Mobile DeskRiser Stand.
The Mobile DeskRiser Stand has 3 features that we think set this product apart and makes it as popular as it is:
- It is the tallest standing desk we have yet to find, meaning it rises high enough to fit anyone that is up to 6 feet 6 inches (78 inches) tall.
- It features 4 caster wheels that make it mobile, but the wheels lock into place allowing you to sit/stand in place after moving it.
- It features a retractable keyboard tray. Some people swear by a sliding keyboard tray and just like our DeskRiser Classic, this too has that great feature.
Standing Desk Size Chart
Before you purchase your desk and accessories, take into account how high the desk riser is that you're going to purchase. If you already have a desk and want to use a desk converter on top of it to make it a sit/stand desk then here is a good size chart you want to keep in mind when choosing one that fits your height:
If you are 6'0" tall, look for a standing desk converter that has an adjustable height range of up to at least 16" high so that you can maintain proper ergonomics (elbow at a right angle, back straight, eyes forward) when standing and typing. If you're 6'4" tall, then you want a tall standing desk converter that rises up to 20 inches high. This is an approximation as every person has different length arms.
If you're not sure, assume an average desk height of 29 inches, add 2 inches for the thickness of the keyboard tray on the desk converter, and then measure the distance from the floor to your elbow when you're standing. The difference between that distance and the 31 inches to the top of the keyboard tray is how high you want the desk riser to rise up to.
To help you, we developed a great tool that will help you find the perfect desk riser whether you are 5 feet tall or 6 feet 6 inches tall. It is called the DeskFinder and you can use it here.
Best MANUAL Standing Desks for Work from Home
With all of this in mind, here are what our customers tell us are the best manual standing desks to work from home with.
Desk Riser Classic
The original desk riser that we launched our business with and it still stands as the most popular product amongst our customers. The reasons for its popularity are its price point, it ships fully assembled, and it has a retractable keyboard tray.
- Desk Riser 32X
The 32X is popular for a couple of reasons: first, the price point is great for people looking for affordable standing desks. Second, it rises straight up and down. Third, it has a wide keyboard tray that can fit a full size keyboard and mouse. Fourth, it has a slot for putting your iPhone or iPad so you can charge it while it is standing up.
- Desk Riser Grande
The grande is a heavy duty standing desk that is extra wide at 40 inches wide. It can easily fit two large monitors and has ample room for notepads and phones. Like the Desk Riser Classic, it features a sliding keyboard tray.
Best ELECTRIC Standing Desks for Work from Home
If you don't like the manual desk risers, here are what we rank as the best electric desk risers that are perfect for you work from homers.
Full Standing Desk 48
Meant to replace your existing desk, this electric standing desk is popular because it has a small footprint at just 48 inches wide, perfect for people without a dedicated office room. It has 3 memory settings which is great for switching from sitting to standing with just a touch of the screen. And it is compatible with monitor mounts to get the monitor heights up to eye level for proper ergonomic positioning.
Electric Standing Desk 3.0
Aside from being very easy to use and rising straight up and down, this 37 inch extra wide electric standing desk converter (i.e., sits on top of your existing desk and converts to sit/stand) features 4 x AC outlets and 2 x USB 2.0 ports on the desktop, a wonderful feature that makes cable management much easier.
Best MOBILE Standing Desks for Work from Home
If you're always on the run from room to room, avoiding distractions and noise, then the two portable standing desks below are the most feature-packed mobile standing desks for you.
Mobile DeskRiser Stand
This is the tallest standing desk we have yet to find, meaning it rises high enough to fit anyone that is up to 6 feet 6 inches (78 inches) tall. The work surface is 40 inches wide and it has the very popular sliding keyboard tray feature.
Charlie Portable Standing Desk
The Charlie is a great new product that is narrower than the Mobile DeskRiser Stand at 28 inches, perfect for those small apartment balconies. A great feature is the book box, which allows you to store notepads, books and your cell phone, freeing up your work surface. Like the Mobile DeskRiser Stand, it features 4 x locking caster wheels.
Conclusion - The Best Standing Desks for Work from Home
Working from home has its advantages and disadvantages. You can save time on commuting (double bonus for helping the environment), see your family more often, not waste time with small talk at the office.
On the flip side, you may not have a dedicated work space, it might be challenging to stay motivated and working from home often results in you exercising less.
We have gotten incredibly lazy since the work from home craze started in 2020 and so the challenge becomes incorporating movement into our day and getting out of our lazy habits.
Changing habits is no small feat, though. The best way to change bad habits is, as Mark Sisson puts it, by hitting yourself over the head with cues to get it done. One simple change is using a standing desk.
The beauty of standing desks (and balance boards) is they automatically incorporate movement into your day without forcing you to drastically change your habits and without distracting you from your work. Just the act of lifting and lowering your desk gets you out of your state of vegetation and increases the likelihood that you will move more.
Our list above of the best manual standing desks, electric standing desks, and mobile standing desks for working from home should provide you with enough options to satisfy whatever setup you have at your home. If you're looking for more options, try our DeskFinder tool, which lets you find the standing desk that is perfect for you.
FAQs - The Best Standing Desks for Work from Home
|Q: Can the Mobile DeskRiser Stand or Charlie Portable Desk be used outside?|
A: In the article above, we mentioned that both the Mobile DeskRiser Stand and Charlie Portable Standing Desk can be used indoors and outdoors. We simply mean that you can move them around with their caster wheels. However, they are NOT built to withstand weather elements like rain or direct sunlight. So after using them outside, remember to bring them back inside.
|Q: Does the DeskRiser Classic raise straight up and down?|
A: No, the DeskRiser Classic is raised by lifting it up and toward you. Conversely, it is lowered by pushing it down and away from you. The other standing desks mentioned in this article rise straight up and down.