Branch: A WFH Office Upgrade

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I moved into a furnished room in my apartment at the beginning of the pandemic, thinking I’d only stay here for a few weeks (ha!) until things cool down. I inherited a creaky vintage office chair and a cheap, wobbly Ikea table. The whole set-up gave me chronic back pain and cut into my productivity.

A year later, I find myself working anywhere but my desk. To my roommate’s dismay, I’d spread outlines, photos and notes on the dining table as if I were trying to find a serial killer. My laptop nearly gave my lap a third degree burn when I tried working from an outdoor chair. I even made my own makeshift standing desk by stacking some boxes on top of my wobbly desk, but who wants to do that everyday!?

By the 983rd time I’d precariously set up a reading pillow, some yoga blocks and a reading lamp on my bed, I thought to myself, This is enough. I write for a living. I deserve a better WFH setup!

My sad MacGyver standing desk

Branch Offers The Best Quality And Value

After scrolling through a bunch of overpriced and overhyped options, I finally found the holy grail of ergonomic office furniture. Branch makes high-quality commercial office furniture accessible through its direct-to-consumer model. When it comes to office furniture, CEO Greg Hayes noticed that the only two options were premiere brands that were slow and expensive (read: inaccessible), or cheap options from Office Depot that were poorly designed and made.

Credit: @frengpartyof6

Cutting out the middleman allows Branch to outfit the offices of companies like Tumblr, Google and Shopify with high-quality furniture at half the price -- and with better service. Another reason to thank the DTC gods: This business model allows regular people like me to buy the same high-quality office furniture that Google employees use without breaking the bank.

Another reason to thank the DTC gods: This business model allows regular people like me to buy the same high-quality office furniture that Google employees use without breaking the bank.

Branch’s Home Office line includes an electric standing desk, four types of ergonomic chairs, and colorful office accessories that add an extra pop of color to your workspace. Each piece is designed with function, ergonomics and aesthetics in mind, making them perfect for a minimal, clutter-free WFH office space.

Easy Assembly In Simple Terms

Branch was kind enough to send me The Daily Chair and The Standing Desk to try out. I got my Daily Chair a day earlier than the desk and the first thing I noticed was how light the package was. Next, I saw that the screws, washers and allen wrench for assembly came in a neat little package with everything marked very clearly. I didn’t need a PhD or any extra tools to understand the instruction manual. The assembly took me 20 minutes altogether and I barely broke a sweat.

I didn’t need a PhD or any extra tools to understand the instruction manual. The assembly took me 20 minutes altogether and I barely broke a sweat.
If only all furniture companies did this…

The Standing Desk, on the other hand, is another story. First of all, the parts of the standing desk are pretty heavy. Since my experience in assembling furniture is mostly at the Ikea level, I wasn’t used to the weight of these super sturdy and durable materials. It was a workout, y’all.

Another complicated piece of the puzzle: There’s an adjustable beam that needs to be measured to the length of your specific tabletop size (Team Plus or Executive). After I finished assembling the base of the standing desk, I realized that I fibbed the measurements of the beam, which meant I had to take the whole thing apart to make it right.

Other than that, the instructions were really simple and clearly labeled. Just be sure to eat your wheaties before you start assembly, double-check your measurements and ask a friend for help. At the end, the results were stunning and totally worth it-- more on that below.

An Office Chair That’s Easy On The Back And The Eyes

Shopping for an office chair is honestly ~~the worst~~. Most office chairs in the $200-300 price range are butt ugly with fake leather, clunky designs and weird colors. On the rare occasion that a cute office chair pops up on my feed, it’s either super expensive or has terrible ergonomics.

The Daily Chair caught my eye immediately because it’s offered in three beautiful colors: a cool blue-gray Slate, the neutral beigey Linden Green, and the playful Sky Blue. I ended up choosing Sky Blue because I thought it would brighten my office space with an extra pop of color. It looked so cute in photos, and I couldn’t wait to see how it would fit in my space.

In person, The Daily Chair does not disappoint. The sky blue color looks great next to the many plants I keep in my office area. The fabric is lightweight, durable and breathable. None of that sweat-inducing creaky fake leather material. The seat is so supportive that I could feel my spine sigh in major relief.

The Daily Chair also has armrests with adjustable heights — a feature I never knew I needed. I’m a cute 4’11” and I’ve been straining my arms and chest muscles for years because standard desks and chairs are not really made with short people in mind. After a full day of using my Daily Chair with adjusted armrests, I slept like a baby. The neck and shoulder tension that usually plagued me felt so much lighter from just one day of good posture.

How Leo Got Their Groove Back, Courtesy Of Branch’s Standing Desk

Branch’s Standing Desk won’t necessarily cure Zoom fatigue or end social distancing mandates, but damn, I feel amazing. I stand at my desk more often than sitting and I’ve noticed my workdays become significantly shorter. I’m getting my work done so much faster, which means more chill time in the evening.

My new Standing Desk and Daily Chair, perfect for my space

Branch's adjustable standing desk is programmable, meaning its control panel can memorize up to four height settings. If you and your partner happen to be sharing a desk, you can set it to two standing and two sitting positions effortlessly. Again, I’m a cute 4’11” and standard desks are typically designed for people who are 5’4”, which is what furniture companies consider average. The Standing Desk’s lowest height is 26” and its highest is 51”, perfect for people of many different heights.

The Standing Desk comes with two tabletop color options: White or Woodgrain. I was worried about the width of the desk taking up too much space in my office area, plus I’m used to buying white furniture to make spaces look bigger. But the warmth of the woodgrain was irresistible. After assembling my desk, I was shocked at how good it looked in my space. Plus, the size was absolutely perfect. Gone are the days of mind-mapping on my dining table — the folks at Branch designed a surface large enough for all of my brilliant ideas.

Image source: @alexandragater

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m extremely impressed with Branch’s quality for the price point that they offer. Yes, $699 seems like a lot at first glance, but I’m saving so much more money on future physical therapy bills to save my poor back. Plus, I noticed a real spike in my productivity, which means less time chained to my desk and laptop. The Daily Chair and The Standing Desk are both solid investments that improve work-life balance and overall health.

5 More Reasons To Love Branch:

  • Branch’s designs achieve a delicate balance between ergonomics and aesthetics. Good Housekeeping, New York Magazine and Apartment Therapy included Branch in their round-ups of 2021’s best standing desks.
  • You can add extra features to your Standing Desk, like a monitor arm and in-desk power with two outlets, two USB ports and a wire box.
  • In an effort to combat the 117 million pounds of furniture waste that companies offload each year, Branch makes furniture that’s meant to last as long as possible. In their sustainability statement, they proudly announce: “No fast furniture.”
  • Their products come with a 10-year warranty. Their customer support team is happy to help with repairs and replacements.
  • They offer a service called Branch Flex, which allows customers to trade in eligible Branch furniture to get credit towards buying new pieces if you move offices — another example of their commitment to sustainability.

Take your WFH set-up to the next level with Branch today.

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