Though we normally review electronic gadgets, phones, and the associated peripherals, it did not escape our attention that the physical office space we all inhabit is undergoing a shift. From data-entry to human resources, everyone is becoming more health conscience. We all want to be able to do more, enjoy more, and simply to get more out of life. Offices have evolved over the years becoming more and more ergonomic, friendlier to the needs of the modern worker, and, naturally, more environmentally friendly. One of the more interesting changes is the “Sit and Stand” workstation which has garnered more and more attention over the last couple of years. The cost of such a workstation adjustment was out of reach of most people until recently, now is available for the cost of an average mobile phone. This review will be focussed on the Workfit-T, a desktop elevation system that brings simple installation has a mechanical height assist of the entire desktop area, and has options for built-in monitor stands. Ergotron’sWorkfit-T is an excellent entry in the movement to revolutionize the modern office and home office spaces.
The first thing to take note of with the Workspace models is that the packaging seems enormous, and the reason is simple. The desktop sit-to-stand desk unit is physically complete out of that box. There is no way that an advertising moniker could do justice to the simplicity of the setup. It is fully assembled and ready to go out of the box. Installation could not be any easier. If you need steps; well, here they are:
Clean off your desk.
Put Workfit-T on your desk.
Put stuff back on your desk.
That’s it. Seriously. No really, that’s all there is to it. Although the Workfit-T is a bit on the heavy side, so you may need help unpacking, moving, and placing it. Still, compared to anything else, this is a breeze.
The next question is how well does it fit into your office space? The Workspace-T and TL models are fantastic because they really fit into a number of roles for the modern office and home-office. The surface remains flat before, during, and after a raise (or lower) operation. In English, this means that you still have a writing surface, a place for your coffee cup, or a stack of papers. Literally, not figuratively, this raises the desktop surface to allow for standing. This isn’t just a higher monitor and a keyboard, but an entire desk work area. The size of the “T” model fits exactly on nearly any desk, though I would suggest staying away from a glass-top desk. The mechanical lift fits below the desktop area and adds no length or width to the desk area. Nothing sticks out of the side, so if you don’t normally bump your desk when walking by before installation — chances are you will not after installing the Workfit-T either. While there are only two available colors, the white or black choices are neutral to most decors. Again, the only caveat I could come up with is that it would likely not be optimal for a glass top desk.
The mechanical lift system employed by the Workfit-T system is a horizontal spring lift system. This method, while seemingly dated, is the absolute best system that could be utilized, as hydraulics and other lift mechanisms do not age very well. The use of springs and levers is an elegant solution for raising and lowering a surface. The drawback of this method is that there is a little bit of a weight limit, so you’ll likely not want a heavy desktop, three monitors, and your backpack sitting on top of the desk when raising it. Raising and lowering the desktop will require a little muscle if you have the desk overloaded with stuff when you operate it. Naturally, if you move stuff off of your desk, it will make it easier to operate. In the trade-off between longevity and ease of use, the answer Ergotron came up with is, again, simple, elegant, and effective.
The desktop system has optional monitor stands that are also easy to mount and use. While not as crazy easy as the desktop system itself, the installation is painless. The design of the desktop area has “plugs” that pop out and allow for the attachment of the “arm,” or multi-monitor bracket. Again, like the Workfit-T itself, the monitor stands are designed simply and with longevity in mind. A simple bolt, screw, and bracket mechanism is used for each separate positioning(Multi Monitor). A lot of people prefer the multi-point positioning of monitor arms, but from the perspective of maintaining a consistent work environment for multiple monitors– the mechanical stand is an ideal solution. Whether choosing a single monitor bracket, arm, or multi-monitor bracket, the monitor stand attachment choices work well with the theme of the Workfit-T, simple, elegant, and sturdy.
Considering the ease of set-up, the fact that the Workfit-T is an entire desktop area, and can be used with optional monitor stands – it is an excellent choice for a sit-and-stand office environment. From a personal standpoint, it’s hard to find anything negative about the product. No, it doesn’t have bells, whistles, flashing lights, USB ports, or WiFi. It doesn’t have a motorized lift assist, and it’s not a “smart” device. It’s mechanical. Truly mechanical. In this case, for this type of product, that’s a massive plus. There are some things that are just better when they have that solid, mechanical feel. Anyone who’s ever built anything, ever, knows how difficult it is to maintain “level.” The Workfit-T manages to maintain “level” through a range of heights mechanically; that, ladies and gentleman, takes some crazy engineering. This “device” is everything advertised, and then some. The Workfit-T by Ergotron brings the entire desktop into the modern office.
The great folks over at Ergotron fully believe in the health benefits of standing while at the office, and my fellow writers have been curious about the movement in general. With that in mind, what better time is there to write a little about how standing while working can be a positive change? Right. There isn’t a better time. What’s the big deal? Well, for one thing, sitting for ten hours a day is just bad for us. Standing, by itself, isn’t exactly going to make someone lose forty pounds in a day, but it does help. Fidgeting, tapping your foot, and other small things that we all do naturally expends just a little more energy when we’re standing. Even just standing a little can help too, just ask the Annals of Internal Medicine. When the media got a hold of the idea early on, they wanted to treat the standing-desk like a magic bullet. Naturally, any overblown reaction is going to create expectations that simply cannot be met. However, there were several good studies which have all been summarized by Prevention Magazine. In the end, I must let our readers know that any one thing is not really a magic pill, and everything is always best approached in moderation. If you have health problems, you should probably talk to a doctor before making any all-encompassing life changes. With that stated, a sit-and-stand desk is a good investment in a healthier, happier, life.