Ergotron WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation Review

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The Ergotron WorkFit-S is a “sit-stand workstation,” which means you can easily raise and lower your computer to work standing or sitting (so you don’t die). While you can find a decent, dedicated standing desk for under $270, that means you have to stand all day. I usually find that I want a break from standing by mid-afternoon, at least.

Unfortunately, a good sit-stand desk that lets you switch back and forth is closer to $600. That is why I asked Ergotron to let me try the WorkFit-S. At under $380, it is a good compromise on price, but definitely not on quality.

What I like about the Ergotron WorkFit-S

I recently set up a home office, but nothing in it is at standing height. I don’t really want to scrap everything for a new setup. Also, I only spent about $400 on the whole office setup at Ikea, and getting the same amount of sit-stand surface area would cost thousands. I’m just not interested in spending that kind of money. I bought a balance ball for $20, but I still really want to stand for part of the day. Which is why the WorkFit-S is a near-perfect solution.

The WorkFit-S is basically a vertical post with a monitor mount and keyboard tray, and some stabilizers at the bottom. It took about ten minutes to assemble and clamp to my work table. After you get it installed, it is solid enough that it feels like part of the table. Even so, moving it is as simple as unscrewing the clamp and putting it somewhere else.

For what it is, the WorkFit-S is reasonably good-looking (it should look just fine with your iMac mounted on it). It does leave a fair amount of empty space behind it, though, depending on the depth of your desk. And it takes up some extra space in front of your desk, due to the keyboard tray. If you already use a keyboard tray, you probably will not notice any difference. If you do not already use a keyboard tray, the WorkFit-S will push you about 18 inches away from your desk, so that your keyboard and monitor will be in the correct whether sitting or standing.

I have plenty of room in my home office to accommodate the extra space, so it’s no big deal for me. I just have to figure out what to do with all the now-empty space behind the WorkFit-S.

Most of the mount points on the WorkFit-S are easily adjustable (which you would expect from a company named “Ergotron,” after all). You can adjust your mounted monitor by rotating, tilting, or sliding it up and down. The keyboard tray is stationary, but you can use the keyboard tray’s arm to slide the entire apparatus up and down for adjustment or to change position. All the adjustments happen with minimal effort, because the moving parts are counter-weighted or counter-sprung. Just give them a firm push, and they will go where you want them to.

I own two other Ergotron products, an adjustable laptop stand and a monitor arm. Both are sturdy and well-built, and have lasted for years. The WorkFit-S is cut from the same mold. It feels like it will last for years doing exactly what you want it to do.

Living with the WorkFit-S is easy. I like to stand for a while, sit for a while, then stand some more. All you have to do to switch is raise or lower the workstation. This is especially useful while you are getting used to standing. I spend so much time sitting in front of my computer that standing was a bit of a shock to my system. I was sore for a few days while my body adjusted. Being able to break up my day by sitting was a huge help. Even now that I am relatively comfortable standing all day, I definitely prefer having the option to do both.

I did not want to try the Ergotron WorkFit-S as a sort of half-step towards buying a full sit-stand desk. That just winds up costing more. I wanted to try it as a long-term sit-stand solution for my office. And it is. I would be happy to use this for as long as I use my desk, and I really appreciate the flexibility it gives me to transform any work surface into a standing solution.

What I don’t like about the Ergotron WorkFit-S

I do have some complaints about the WorkFit-S, although none are reasons not to get one.

In designing the Workfit-S, Ergotron apparently forgot that most computers have cables, and so cable management feels like an afterthought. You just get a couple of stick-on cord clips, a flexible cable tube, and a couple of zip ties. They do the trick, just not with much style. This is not a deal-breaker, by any means, but when you elevate some components of your PC, you expose more cables, and an elegant way to conceal them from view would have been nice.

The display mount on the Workfit-S allows you to move your monitor in almost every direction except forward and backward. If the default position works for you, great, but it felt a bit too close for my eyes. I wanted to move it back about 6 inches, especially when sitting. I did get used to the position, but I still don’t love it.

The plastic keyboard tray is just not great. The combination of a plastic keyboard tray and a single post holding the entire apparatus in place means you will notice some movement as you type. You get used to it, but it is always there.

Finally, while the WorkFit-S looks okay, I don’t think it is the kind of thing you would want sitting between you and your clients. If you can tuck it into a corner, you will be fine. But if you plan to have it on the same desk across which you meet with clients, you might be happier shelling out the bucks for a GeekDesk — even though those aren’t the height of style, either.

Again, none of these things are deal-breakers, but they are annoyances.

Who should buy the Ergotron WorkFit-S

The WorkFit-S is a pretty optimal solution if you want the option to stand up and work at your computer, but you don’t want to have to buy new furniture.

Score

Ergotron WorkFit-S Sit-Stand Workstation

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The WorkFit-S is a pretty optimal solution if you want the option to stand up and work at your computer, but you don’t want to buy new furniture.

Overall score: 4.5 (out of 5)

Update: Please note that the adhesive velcro strips that come with the WorkFit are not really temporary. I spent a half hour and a good helping of Goo Gone getting them off my keyboard and trackpad.

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  • I have used an Ergotron standing desk for the last 5 months or so. I think mine is one of the versions that you mention, Sam—the one with the laptop stand (WorkFit-S, LCD Laptop Sit-Stand Workstation @ http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WQ2FP2/).

    It definitely overtakes the desk, so I have trouble finding room to place papers and books that I can read while I write. They have an attachment, which you can buy for extra (http://www.amazon.com/Ergotron-Worksurface-for-WorkFit-S-97-581-019/dp/B004U632OQ/). I’ll need to get that soon.

    I also agree with you about the keyboard tray. It’s flimsy and not good. Also, I am a hard typer when I’m really into what I’m working on, so the whole setup shakes and distracts me on occasion.

    All that being said, I’ll probably never go back; I’m very happy with my setup. I love changing positions throughout the day. Standing sometimes, then sitting, then standing again. It’s awesome.

  • I’ve been using a Workfit S for nearly 18 months and like it a lot. Mine has all the issues you cite, but if you can get used to them, it’s a fine stand-up desk. It has encouraged me to go more paperless, in part because it can be a hassle to maneuver paper while standing at the station. I was also able to downsize my physical desk, so I have a bit more space to use in my office as well as being neater because of fewer places to pile.

    Every 6-8 months or so it starts to lose its range, so gradually that you almost don’t realize you’re starting to stoop. According to their Web site, a quick slam down and then all the way up frees the mechanism up so that you can get back to full height. Not glamorous but not bad for $400.

    Thanks for the review. Your points on meetings with clients are ones I hadn’t considered since I don’t meet clients at mine. I wonder if law firm staff might have better space for standing desks than lawyers who use their office desks for meetings.

  • Great post, Sam! Thanks for the thorough review. I had the WorkFit-S for my home office then switched to the WorkFit-C cart for some of the same reasons mentioned above. Desk type is a key consideration when choosing the right solution. Some of the points you mentioned were the impertus behind other products in the line, like the WorkFit-A which clamps to the back or side of a desk instead of the front and swings out of the way to allow you to get at your desk top. I like it because if you want to walk around a bit in your office while standing, the unit can, to a certain extent, move with you. ;-) As it is, glad to see it gets high marks. Keep standing in good health. ;-)

  • Marshall

    I’ve been using a WorkFit-S for about 4 months. It’s a great solution for an inexpensive sit-stand station. However, I’m 6’4″ and it is just too short to accomodate a taller guy. When I’m standing I find myself wanting to sit because I have to look down to see the monitor and the keyboard is also too low for proper ergonomics. They just need to make another model with another 10″ of adjustment.

  • chuck williams

    Hi Sam, I got the Ergotron Work Fit-S through my workplace. I’m glad it works well for others (who mostly seem to be men from the comments below). I am an average-short height female (this is my husband’s google account), just a hair under 5’4 inches, with a short torso and longer legs. The problem is that the distance between the keyboard tray and the lowest the monitor can go leaves me craning my neck up when I’m in a sitting position since my eye gaze isn’t hitting near the top of the screen (which is ergonomically correct) but near the bottom. The distance between the keyboard tray and bottom of monitor (which is over 6″) isn’t adjustable, which seems kind of ridiculous with all of the other available adjustments. I called Ergotron and they don’t even have a shorter arm available. When standing (which I will of course do more of the time) it’s not as bad since I can pull the monitor down, but then my arms are hanging at about a 45 degree angle to the keyboard instead of 90. Maybe that’s ok, but not ideal. I thought of removing the keyboard tray and use the desk accessory to put my keyboard on it’s a little too high and I’d be hunching up my shoulders. Can’t believe they didn’t test this with some shorter people! I’m really not that short for a female. I would say don’t order this unless you are at the very minimum 5’6 with a long torso. Wasn’t sure where to post this but I want people to see it who are searching before they buy one!