Convincing Your Boss to Let You Use a Standing Desk

Ready to start using a standing desk? Now you just need to convince the boss!

For workers who telecommute or work in a secluded singular office, switching to using a standing desk just requires the drive to do so and a few minutes of assembly. But for workers who do their job in a cubicle bullpen, convincing the manager or boss to let them switch to a standing desk can be considerably more challenging.

After all, a standing desk amongst a sea of smaller cubicles will certainly draw attention. How can you persuade your manager that the health benefits outweigh the break in uniformity? Here are several methods to improving your case so you can make the switch.

Strength in Numbers

Gather in numbers to convince your boss you need a standing desk.

Before you decide a plan of attack, ask your co-workers (especially those that work in your vicinity) if they’ve considered using a standing desk. One single standing desk in a sea of traditional cubicles will stick out, and might dissuade your boss. But if four people want to make the change, for example, you can suggest to your boss that everyone with a newly minted standing desk be moved to the same spot in the office so it’s less distracting. The more people that want to switch, the better.

Foot the Bill

More often than not, the reason for rejection will come down to the cost. Purchasing a standing desk from scratch simply may not be affordable in your manager’s opinion. But if you (and your coworkers) offer to pay for the upgrade there are far fewer tangible reasons for pushback. Even if you’re not particularly crafty, there are inexpensive ways to convert your sitting desk into a standing one. This desk can be mounted to the wall in half an hour, and only costs about $25 to construct. Or build a simple collapsible standing desk for the reasonable price of $47.

Consider Your Health

When forming your argument, it’s important to be armed with as many facts as possible regarding the health dangers associated with sitting desks. A quick Google research will return countless studies linking prolonged sitting with heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and shorter life expectancy. When you have the facts lined up for your manager it will be more difficult for them to reject your proposal outright, especially if your office fosters a generally supportive environment. Science is your friend – use it to your advantage!

Know Your Boss

Deciding how and when to pitch your boss on the idea of a standing desk relies on knowing what kind of communication your boss responds to. If your company is formal and you have a no-nonsense boss, book a room and give a short presentation pitching your case, hopefully alongside co-workers who also want standing desks. But, if you have more of a startup vibe and your boss is very approachable, maybe the best tactic is to approach him or her during lunch and casually bring up the possibility in conversation. Make a judgment call and stick with it.

Prepare for Success

Don’t just prepare for the pitch – know what you’re going to do if your boss says yes! Many people that switch to using a standing desk often find themselves uncomfortable or exhausted because their bodies aren’t ready for the switch. Do some exercises to strengthen your core, and use a Wurf board to incorporate micro movements throughout the day so you’re not sedentary throughout the day. These motions relax your muscles, energizing you and improving your posture.

Best of luck! Approaching your boss can be intimidating, but by following these steps you can present the best possible case.