How to Request a Standing Desk from Work
For most of us, requesting anything from work takes a bit of forethought. When you’re convinced of the merits of a standing desk, the next logical step is to figure out how to request a standing desk from work.
Fortunately, requesting a standing desk from work has become commonplace at many companies – even places where it wasn’t a common request just a few years ago. If you’re lucky, your boss or HR contact may already know the benefits, and may even have a process in place.
1. Find out if your company has a standing desk policy.
Since more and more companies are offering standing desks, there may be certain amount of funds in the budget for them. Check out your employee handbook, or ask HR if there are wellness programs or ergonomics resources. Another option is to check around by casually asking anyone you see who has an adjustable desk.
2. Prepare your standing desk request.
To make your best case, consider these points so you’ll be ready to address them:
- What is the advantage of an adjustable desk for you? Be prepared with the main reason you want a standing desk. If it’s related to discomfort from sitting or to a medical need like back pain, you’ll likely have a strong point. And if you have used a standing desk before and found that it helped, you’ll definitely want to include that information.
- What do standing desks cost? Research the general cost of standing desks and get an idea of where your preferred model falls on the spectrum.
- What is the best standing desk for your request? Understand what the different stand up desk options are, and what desk you want. When you’re presenting your request, try to limit your suggestions to a few choices.
- How and where does the standing desk fit in your space? If your cubicle neighbor might object to you peering over the wall, see if there is a way to rearrange your space to maintain harmony.
3. Choose the right time.
Generally, the beginning of the year is the time when department budgets have the most flexibility. Wellness initiatives are often kicked off around that time as well. If you’ve missed that window, there are plenty of other opportunities. Look for moments like these:
- You’ve recently had a change of leadership, and the new leader seems receptive to ideas.
- You’ve just received your glowing annual review, or had some other recent accomplishment.
- You haven’t recently asked for any significant perk.
- Your project has wrapped up and your boss is in a good mood.
Although it’s no guarantee, choosing the right timing helps make sure your request can be heard and considered.
4. Make the request in person.
Schedule an appointment or add the topic to a regular meeting with your supervisor to make your request in private. And be direct. Frame it as a request for help getting a piece of equipment that will help you do your job. If you’ve used a standing desk before and found it helpful, definitely mention that.
Unless a standing desk was already budgeted, your boss will more than likely need time to consider or to ask someone else. You may be asked to frame your request in a written email or to fill out a form. If you’re requesting the desk as a medical necessity, you may also find out that the company’s process requires a doctor’s note.
If the time isn’t right when you ask, find out when you should follow up. Perhaps there is a better time to make the request, like if the department has furniture in the next budget, or more flexibility in the next fiscal year.
5. Do you need a doctor’s note for a standing desk?
If your company’s process requires a doctor’s note, mention it to your doctor at your next medical appointment. Standing desks are often recommended by physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and occupational therapists to help with neck, spine, and joint problems.
Whether you are requesting an ADA accommodation or your company policy requires a medical assessment, most doctors are familiar with the format of a letter of medical necessity. If you are asking for an ADA accommodation, be aware that a doctor can suggest how to accommodate a limitation, but there will be a dialog. The company may decide to accommodate the request in a different way.
That’s it! In most cases, requesting a standing desk is really no different from submitting a request to attend a trade show or subscribe to an industry pub. With a little preparation, you’ll be sitting – and standing – pretty in the time it takes to order a new desk.
Sidebar – How to request a home office standing desk
As more employers plan to adopt broader work from home policies, a standing desk has become a common perk. In fact, according to a recent AON survey, 1 in 5 companies already pay for employee home office equipment. This arrangement will probably become even more common as states like Illinois, Massachusetts, and California, require employers to reimburse for home office expenses.
Your employer probably understands that your kitchen table may not be the most ergonomic setup. Whether your company offers a remote work stipend, remote perk stipend, remote work allowance, or remote employee reimbursement, your standing desk may be covered. All these benefits became even more common during the pandemic, and may apply here.