desk

  • Standing desks : A review by a couch potato freelancer (gifted)

    This review features the Varidesk ProPlus30, which was kindly gifted to me.

    I’ve been curious about standing desks for a while. I’ve heard about some of the benefits of them, from reducing back pain to boosting energy levels. One thing I’ve become aware of in the last few years, is that I don’t need more time to work, I need more energy. The idea of making a small change to my office space to boost those levels was something I was happy to do. Especially as my professional workspace consisted of two pillows stacked on my lap on the sofa, as a makeshift desk (I have an actual desk, but…I love the sofa.)

    Varidesk kindly got in touch to offer me the chance to try out the ProPlus30, an adaptive workstation to place on top of my desk and give me the option of standing and sitting.

    I was excited. Would I, as a couch potato who gets far too many ‘stand up’ pings from her Apple Watch, suddenly become a super fit person with perfect posture and unending energy? Er, no, it’s a standing desk, not an entire personality and body replacement. But I was hoping for a little boost in productivity and energy levels. And maybe a slight improvement in my digital age slumped shoulders.

    Productivity

    So, what’s it like? Well, on the productivity front, it works. Standing up and working means I spend less time faffing (read: browsing my Facebook feed), and more time getting sh*t done. I’m more purposeful because I want to treat myself to a sit down with a cuppa and a Pinterest slot of time after. I started using it with my Pomodoro timer to really ramp up the productivity.

    (It’s also much easier to have a boogie at your desk when you’re standing. Desk dancing is an important factor to consider)

    I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed using it. I love using it for recording videos and Facebook Lives, where I can move a little and gesticulate more. It’s adjustable, so at 5ft 4in, I could get it to the perfect height. What I’m saying is, it’s great for getting that perfect ‘trim the chins’ angle.

    Posture

    Standing up and working made me feel more aware of how I was standing, particularly my shoulders and my centre of balance (I’m constantly shifting feet). I don’t tend to stay standing for longer than an hour at a time.

    Let’s get into the meaty stuff:

    Pros

    • Converting it from a seated desk to a standing desk can be done in seconds (see video above). It’s simply a case of pressing the button on each side, and easing it up or down. Just don’t do what I did and press the buttons without holding on. My laptop nearly took its first flight through the office window.
    • It doesn’t require building, I just pulled it out of the box and placed it on the desk.
    • There’s loads of desk space, and space to pop your Bluetooth devices.
    • It looks good. I mean, it’s big (a dinky IKEA desk isn’t going to hold this bad boy), but it looks great once it’s in place. There’s also a different version of the Varidesk if you have two monitors that you use regularly
    • Varidesk offer a 30 day guarantee, so if standing isn’t for you, you can return and get a refund.

    Cons

    • It’s heavy. It was a two-person job to lift it onto the desk. We’ve got a pretty sturdy old wooden desk, so it was stable enough, but I would probably put down a thin foam mat or fabric underneath it if I put it on there again to protect the wood.
    • The price is reasonably high at £275, and there are certainly cheaper ones on the market. But this one is high quality, easy to set up and gives the option of being a standing or sitting desk (whereas others are just standing desks).

    Considerations

    • If your desk is a tangle of wires, this is a good time to update your desk to more Bluetooth/wireless devices so you can easily move the desk up and down without yanking anything out. If you use a laptop rather than a desktop, a wireless mouse and keyboard make it much easier to use the Varidesk easily.
    • Have a think about footwear. This is not the time for stilettos (but hey, you’re working from home, why would you be even wearing them).

    Conclusion

    Yup. I’m a standing desk convert. I find it particularly good for those days when I really need to focus, but it’s great to have the option either way. It’s not an essential item, but I feel like the benefits really make it worth looking at if you’re spending a long time at your desk.

    You can find the Varidesk ProPlus 30 on Amazon (affiliate link) or direct from Varidesk.

  • 5 things on my working from home wishlist for May

    One of my favourite things about working from home, aside from elasticated waist trousers and not having to enter into excessive small talk, is having an excuse to buy stuff for my home office. Even if those purchases are sometimes a little frivolous.

    Here are a few of the things on my wishlist, ranging from practical gadgets to impractical stationery that makes me smile.  I’d love to know what you’re yearning for in the comments below!

    HomeOfficeWishlist

    • iKettle is a kettle that you can turn on with your phone. Firebox, £99.99.
    • Tea Display box. Justifies me spending more on fancy tea. NOTHS, £29.99.
    • Vitapens Highlighters. As if highlighting stuff wasn’t fun enough. IWOOT, £6.99.
    • Bunny in the field paper clips storage. I don’t even use paper clips. IWOOT, £10.
    • Leitz Complete Multicharger for Mobile Device. So I don’t break my neck on a million cords. Amazon, £54.99.

    Go on, tell me what’s on your wishlist at the moment!

  • Delightful Desk Details: Indoor Allotment

    This week, I’ve been giving my desk area a bit of a spring clean. It’s been….under-used the last few months. Not because I haven’t been working, but because I’ve mainly been working from the comfort of my sofa where it’s warm and cosy.

    Hearing whispers of actual sunshine this weekend, I found a little time to start working on clearing out all the stuff I’ve been dumping in my little garden office, and turning it back into a working environment. I’ve also been thinking about how I can add a little more life to the place, particularly after reading Penny Golightly’s new blog Golightly Gardens (an excellent thrifty gardening blog).

    Green living

    When this indoor allotment (£24.99 from MenKind) popped up in my inbox, I couldn’t resist. Small enough to keep on your desk, but big enough to grow three types of herbs – Coriander, Basil and Oregano.

    If you prefer something a little more temporary, you might want to hop on over to Postcarden. They do a wide selection of mini gardens that arrive in the post, you guessed it, in postcard form. I’m a sucker for the village cottage version.

    Are you giving your desk or office area a spring clean? What detail are you lusting after?