Global Industrial Shop Desk

Want to stand out from the crowd? Then stand up at this unique, blue shop desk. It was originally designed as a heavy duty factory workstation, but the functionality translates well to a more modern, computer-heavy work environment.


December 1, 2017

the story

Global Industrial is pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a straightforward, blue-collar business unit of the Fortune 1000 company Systemax Inc. that sells industrial products, office supplies, and various electronics.

In other words, they’re nothing sexy. The logo looks about as generic as they come and their website claims to carry over 1,000,000 products which is as overwhelming as it sounds.

But you know what? Their parent company reports double digit growth over the past 5 years, they’ve been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2002, and they were ranked 21 on Modern Distribution Management’s Top 40 Industrial Distributors for 2017.

This is one of those companies that won’t win a Webby for innovative design but their stuff just flat out works. Like what Craigslist is to the internet. Great prices, ridiculous selection, and a “you-get-what-you-pay-for” dependability.

why we like it

Speaking of Craigslist, we discovered the Shop Desk while browsing the local classifieds for used standing desks. The benefits of standing while you work is well documented: increased blood flow, better posture, and feeling like a true “disruptor” changing the world one keystroke at a time.

Most standing desks are oddly expensive which was a big reason why this one stood out so much (pun intended). While we didn’t win the Criagslist deal, the price for a new one was still well below the other options out there, so we placed the order and it arrived a week later.

On first glance, the powdered blue look offers some appeal, but by far the best feature is the structural design itself. The overall footprint is relatively small, the bars along the bottom are a great footrest, the tabletop slopes slightly which lends itself to keyboard ergonomics, there’s a huge locking drawer for all your personal stuff, the pigeonhole compartments are perfect for holding notebooks and papers, and the top of the compartments is the optimal height for multiple screens (no need to put them on books or cinder blocks).

Everything’s built in and it’s amazing. Plus, if you ever want to sit you can grab a stool and it’s just like having a seated desk. And now, you don’t have to work at a tire repair shop to pull a desk like this off. Consider this all the permission you need.

the competition

There are 3 main categories of standing desks: fixed up, adjustable, and table top. The shop desk is our pick for fixed up, but there are plenty of others out there — just be mindful of height and stability.

Adjustable desks are the gold standard and are priced as such. The Jarvis Bamboo Adjustable Standing Desk comes highly recommended starting at $395 and the Xdesk Terra is one we’ve used in the past, but retails for $1,497 (we bought ours secondhand).

A couple things to keep in mind with these are: 1) they are strictly a flat table surface so you have to provide storage and monitor stands yourself, and 2) they need to be plugged in. The electricity part shouldn’t be much of an issue, but it’s yet another thing that can go wrong.

For tabletop options, the cheapest one you should try is the Spark by Ergodriven. It costs $25 on Amazon and is a great way to try whether or not you’re into a standing desk before committing to a fancy one. Additionally, Varidesk has various models that sit on your existing desk. But for $400+ you might as well just get a new desk.

If your work allows it, check out the Shop Desk. It’s fixed up, incredibly stable, has all sorts of fun features, and you can always use a stool if you really feel like sitting. Best of both worlds.

Protip: Use a low-profile desk pad under your keyboard to warm up the metal.

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