Poll Your Co-Workers - find out if your co-workers would support your mission of getting standing desks. Having the support of your peers will give you the confidence to push forward through roadblocks knowing you’re asking for something that everyone wants. Talking with or surveying your coworkers will also help uncover additional arguments for getting standing desks that you may not have thought of. Ultimately this will help build your case representing the needs of other employees and not just your personal desires.
Make a Business Case
Even though HR focuses on people they do serve the financial needs of the business. Making a business case will help them get buy-in from senior leaders in the company when making their pitch. There is a fair amount of research and whitepapers available on companies transitioning to standing desks that have resulted in improved productivity, health, and a more dynamic and positive working environment. Reduced Healthcare costs will directly resonate with HR since healthcare costs often represent upwards of 20% of an employees total compensation.
Carefully consider the timing of your pitch. A company is not likely to pull the trigger on new office furniture at the end of a financial calendar when hitting goals and getting evaluated on bonuses is likely the focus. This doesn’t mean you have to wait for a new year to start working with HR. It is important that you start before the budgeting period of the following year so that budget allocations can be made for spending on standing desks. When there is budgeted capital available the decision will be much easier to make because it will be a planned expense.The first question a C level leader will ask is "Is this budgeted?" You want the answer to be "Yes, it is." Another angle here is to position standing desks as a reward after your company had a good year or quarter.
Learn About Other Investments
You should learn about any other planned investments like new conference tables, TVs, furniture etc.. If you find that getting standing desks is the top desire of your coworkers you can argue to HR that standing desks will be a more effective investment for the office. This can be very effective when you know that most coworkers prefer standing desks over something that has already been prioritized and decided on. We find that sometimes HR teams misunderstand which workplace changes are most important to their employees.
Ask Others to Speak up and be Persistent
Although running a business isn’t a democracy, it certainly helps to have others speaking out with you. If you find that some of your co-workers are very passionate about getting standing desks, ask them to talk to HR, or at least mention it to their manager. HR will be much more convinced of the benefits and desire of their employees when more than one person is speaking out. Along with this be persistent and follow up. Many HR teams are dealing with serious people problems on a daily basis and something like investing in standing desks can easily slip through the cracks. Politely following up and reiterating the need and benefits of standing desks in the office will ensure it is always top of mind.
Partner With Someone Influential
One of the best ways we’ve seen companies transition is to have a senior leader with influence represent you. Having someone like this act on your behalf will exponentially speed up the decision and increase the chances of it becoming a reality. Senior leaders are constantly discussing employee productivity, culture and presenting ideas on how to improve them. Having someone senior pitch standing desks to their peers will be a home run in making the change.
Suggest a Pilot
If you’ve tried all options and you’re hitting significant roadblocks related to the actual benefits of standing, suggest a pilot with one team or an office (if you have multiple locations.) This will evaluate the reception and benefits of standing desks. This will provide real feedback to the company on how standing could impact their entire organization.
Suggest an Alternative
If a decision has been reached that investing in standing desks is too expensive or something the company just can’t afford then suggest an alternative solution like a standing desk converter. Standing desk converters are great options for companies since they allow you to keep existing furniture, there is minimal to no assembly required and they are typically less than 50% of the cost of a business grade full standing desk.
All in all, the key here is to make a solid argument that sells the business benefits of standing desks. Put yourself in the CEO’s or Head of HR’s shoes and build your case from their point of view. Once you have this, share with others, partner with like-minded people and be persistent.