The pandemic has changed the way many of us work. At first it was acceptable to cobble together a workspace at the kitchen table or make due at a crowded, mail covered desk. But with many companies continuing the remote policy, now’s the time to invest in a proper desk to get some serious work done. We took a look at the Sean Woolsey WFH Smart Desk in our home office for a couple of weeks. Here’s what you need to know.
What It Is
From the Sean Woolsey Studios, based in Costa Mesa, CA, with a history of celebrating wood’s natural beauty, the WFH Smart Desk has motorized legs to raise the top of the desk. The standing desk, which can be either black walnut or white oak, locks in at any point between 25 to 50-inches from the floor. The height is metered out by a controller with up and down buttons, with four presets, which makes dialing in the right seated and standing heights simple.
The top is a 30 x 60-inch, .75-inch thick slab of solid wood planks, edge-glued together, finished with rounded edges and protected by an oil-finish that keeps the surface matte. Supporting the top is a black, powder-coated steel frame and a pair of substantial feet. In the rear of the top is a black steel pass-through for wires, which keeps the look tidy. Embedded in the top from underneath is a 10-watt Anker Qi wireless charger that works through the top, charging your smartphone. Helpful lines cut into the top of the desk give you a landing zone for your phone so you’re not hunting around the desk waiting for the device to ping you when you hit paydirt.
Under the top is where all the magic happens. The electric motors and wireless charger plug into a power strip mounted below the desktop. Once you plug the desk and charger into the strip, you have one USB and five outlets. It’s kept neat with zip ties and the desk comes with extra peel-and-stick ties to keep the cords underneath as clean as the desk’s top.
We opted to include the matching monitor stand ($250) that adds some utility if you work with an external screen. The 46 x 9-inch stand raises the screen 4 inches with a matching black steel plate running through it. That plate creates a shelf, with about 1.75-inches of space above and below it, to slide in a keyboard, note pad, stapler, etc. which would otherwise clutter up the desk. It’s also the perfect spot to tuck away the desk’s included desk organizer: a 11×8.5-inch wood tray with spots for six pens, a pocket for Post-it notes, and two other cubbies for things like change, paperclips, or your phone.
The motors lifting the desk can support about 90 pounds on the tabletop. And the desk hauls: going from minimum max height takes about 19.5 seconds. At about 57 decibels, it’s quiet, too—it’s about as loud as a refrigerator’s hum.
Why We Like It
Using a standing desk at home is a lot easier than in an office where—without question—some colleagues are giving you the side-eye. With four presets you could have the desk dialed in for two people, each with their personal sit and stand preferences. And the size is generous, especially if you work from a laptop. The build is rock solid and the motors that raise and lower are smooth and quiet.
Other home desks tend to be small, cramped, but this model leaves plenty of room for a full-size keyboard, mouse, a writing pad, and even a laptop or tablet off to the side while your necessary gear all within reach. If you’re prone to making a mess of a wide-open space, this desk comes in a version with three drawers that makes hiding the day’s mess easier (from: $3,000).
Instead of ignoring our Apple Watch’s call to get up, we’ve been standing more with this desk and the generous max height, which brings the top to about 50-inches high, leaves plenty of room if you opt for a treadmill under the desk or a balance board. The monitor stand was surprisingly helpful at keeping the space tidy at the end of the day. We like the attention to detail, like the packet or rubber bumpers that come with the desk to help protect the surface from getting scratched by the monitor stand or the organization tray (though we also added some peel-n-stick felt pads for easy sliding).
The look is clean and minimalist. Unlike other standing rigs that might require fussing with a handle to pop up and down, taking a seat from a standing position takes one button and a few seconds.
The embedded wireless charger might not work if you have a phone case that’s 0.5cm thick or more, which we had. So, if you plan on using the charger you’ll have to pop your phone out of the case. You can unplug the stock charger and plug in your own desktop version. The desk’s controller is housed in a handsome 8×3.5-inch block of wood that matches the top. Plugged into the motors underneath the desk, the block has magnets embedded in it that are intended to grab onto the metal frame so you can keep it out of the way. Unfortunately, they’re not powerful enough to hold securely so plan to stash the controller off to the side on the top to keep it within easy reach.
[From: $2,000; seanwoolsey.com]
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