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Joel on Software

Desks

by Joel Spolsky
Friday, June 06, 2008

A reader wrote in to ask what kind of desks we're going to be using for the new office.

The ergonomics experts always want you to have your feet flat on the floor. So you have to adjust your seat height first. Then, your arms are supposed to be horizontal while you're typing. This means you need an adjustable-height keyboard.

Most of the adjustable height keyboard trays are extremely annoying... they're floppy, flimsy, and limit the keyboard to one location. Therefore we decided to get desks where the entire worksurface can be raised and lowered.

Finally, a lot people praise the benefits of standing up for a part of the day, even if you spend the whole day at a computer, so we wanted desks where the worksurface could rise all the way to "counter height" so you could stand and work. And if you are going to be standing up and sitting down it's best to have a desk with a pushbutton, electric motor so you don't get lazy about doing it.

Eventually we settled on the Details adjusTables Series 7. We didn't like the desk surface that those came with (with rounded corners and a chubby profile, it's just too blah) so we ordered a custom desk surface from Steelcase with something called a knife edge profile. That makes the desk look paper-thin:

 


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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, insanely simple project management, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracker designed to help great teams develop brilliant software, and Kiln, which simplifies source control. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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