Tayla Ansell tries out an Aerodesk 1400 Plus height adjustable desk.
For most organisations, working conditions are in a constant state of ﬂux as new technologies, new practices and new colleagues are introduced into the workplace. All can have an effect on environmental factors, such as noise, temperature, lighting and working space, and to accommodate them employees are often required to make adjustments to how they work.
In time, employee-led stop-gap measures either become redundant or become formalised and incorporated into company best practice.
Sit-stand working in the Business Info editorial office is a case in point. Our offices can be cold in winter and we originally tried sit-stand working to see what effect regular changes in posture would have on circulation and body temperature. This experiment produced such a transformation for one employee in particular that there was no question of returning to our previous sedentary way of working.
Over time, Business Info’s approach to sit-stand working has evolved from the experimental, initiated informally by employees (a notebook balanced on a large pile of books), to the transitional, involving management buy-in (a retrofit unit with manual height adjustment) to the formal, with electrically operated sit-stand desks now established as the standard workstation specification.
The plan is eventually to replace all workstations with purpose-built sit-stand desks, a process we have already started with the introduction of an Aerodesk Plus in place of an existing desk and retro-fit combo.
Designed by John Tomalin-Reeves, who also designed the First Class lounge at Heathrow, Aerodesk has a sleek, modern look and electronic height adjustment from sitting to standing.
It comes in a variety of sizes, including smaller Pod desks (600mm/800mm wide) ideal for laptop users; the larger Aerodesk Plus (1400mm wide); and the top of the range Aerodesk Pro (1600mm wide), featuring a memory pack for saving preferred height settings and a DuPont Corian or Walnut Veneered top as standard. There is even an Aerodesk for gamers.
For added convenience, the desk incorporates a plug socket, USB port, Bluetooth speaker and Qi charger.
We have installed an Aerodesk Plus with a black frame and charcoal grey top (other colours are available).
One eye-catching feature is the addition of a LightBar that runs along the back of the desk. This LED strip is both decorative and functional, giving users the ability to customise lighting to increase energy and productivity levels – from daylight simulation (5500 Kelvin) to any colour across the spectrum.
Tomalin-Reeves says that in this way Aerodesk can tackle problems caused both by sitting for long periods and by a lack of daylight.
He said: “The statistics are incredible. Standing for three hours a day burns 30,000 extra calories per year, the equivalent of running 10 marathons. Add in the ability to create natural light for those in windowless offices, or coloured lights to improve moods and productivity, and you have the ultimate wireless, stylish desk space.”
A bespoke desk
Tomalin-Reeves adds that Aerodesk represents a long overdue alternative to the uninspiring desks found in offices up and down the country.
“People think nothing of splashing out on their beds because they spend a third of their lives in them. We spend the same amount of time at our desks, yet for some reason no one has ever designed one that you want to be at,” he said.
“The Aerodesk has changed this. It’s the first desk to be personal, bespoke, individual.”
“I was impressed with the quick and smooth transition from a sitting to standing height. Cheaper sit/stand solutions I have come across, with manual cranks or levers, give an unsettling shake when adjusted, rattling the monitor and other items placed on the desk. Thanks to its hydraulic legs, the Aerodesk glides up and down without causing anything on top to move.
“With steel legs, a plywood top and a strong build, the desk is reassuringly sturdy and at no point was I concerned that the desk might topple over, not even when it was completely extended. In fact, I was surprised to discover just how high the desk can go. With the ability to move up to a height of 1,365mm and glide down to just 695mm, Aerodesk will comfortably accommodate people of all shapes and sizes.”