August 9th, 2011 by Rich Armstrong
The Price of (Dev) Happiness: Part One
Okay, let’s just assume that you’ve bought into the idea that a happy developer requires a clean, attractive, comfortable workplace that encourages healthy, sustainable productivity.
You don’t want to do this piecemeal. You asked for a big monitor and you got it. Now, you ask for a sit-stand desk, and you’re suddenly the guy who always needs another “toy.”
You just want to know what a top-notch work station costs so you can tell your boss.
We use these products every day and have for years, and we love them. (Disclosure: None of the following links are affiliate links. We get nothing from recommending these products.) Here’s what our offices contain:
- Fully-loaded Aeron chair, fully assembled - $988 from Sit4Less.com
- AirTouch Adjustable sit/stand desk and non-moving side desk – $1738 from Steelcase - Excellent for pranks.
- Optional anti-fatigue or bouncy Kybun mat for those folks who choose to stand all day – $68 from Amazon or $335 from Steelcase, respectively.
- 30″ monitor for work and a side monitor for your bug tracker – $1520 from Dell
- Beefy workstation so you can’t pull this move – also $1520 from Dell
- Whatever keyboard you want (because we’re all snowflakes) – up to $270 for a Kinesis keyboard
- Whatever mouse you want (beautiful, fragile snowflakes) -up to $70 for an Apple Magic TrackPad or a fancy trackball.
That’s a cool $6,174.00 maximum. (Yes, I know, we’re paying for a chair for people who stand all day, but we’re talking maximums here.) All of these except maybe the computer have a depreciation schedule of about five years. So that comes out to $102.90 a month. But, that’s not $102.90 per month extra; it’s the total cost of everything we use in our offices except the phones. (Which, for a dev, who cares as long as it never rings.)
We could do some research on OfficeDepot.com and come up with some depressingly small number representing the minimum you could spend on a dev to get them nominally productive, but we really don’t want to go there.