Review: The Beflo Tenon Smart Desk Will Help You Find the Flow State

Their luxurious sit-stand model is for working smarter, not harder

The Beflo Tenon Smart Desk, which we tested and reviewed in our home office
You deserve a forever desk.

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As someone who writes for a living, it’s my natural inclination to romanticize the writer’s desk: the weathered escritoire with barely enough room for one’s elbows, where the work somehow always gets finished. But the game’s changed: a large chunk of employees could now be considered professional sitters. Whatever you do at a desk all day long — writing, emailing, Excel’ing — that desk needs to work for you.

I’d liken it to performance apparel in endurance pursuits. (Weird analogy, maybe, but stay with me.) At the very least, a runner wouldn’t want whatever they’re sporting to feel cumbersome or distracting; and when the specs are right, the gear can elevate their game, helping them get to the finish line faster, so they can sooner kick up their feet and relax.

That’s how I feel about the Beflo Tenon Smart Adjustable Desk, which might as well be the “super shoe” of modern ergonomic desks. On one hand, its design economy makes it reliable, almost invisible. On the other hand, its features are inspired and useful, capable of limiting distractions and nudging you into the flow state, when you become completely immersed in a task.

I work less thanks to this particular smart desk, because I’m working smarter. How so? Let’s dig into the specifics of this handsome, high-tech piece.

Intro to Beflo

Beflo is a small, luxury furniture designer based in Taiwan, which launched post-pandemic. The studio’s always had WFH in mind, then, and that sensibility manifests in its array of products: desk mats, cord straps, laptop stands — anything to make the home workstation less cluttered, more bearable.

In addition to the desk that I tested, Beflo also makes a smaller version called the Tenon Mini and a side cabinet called the Galena, which is topped with a satisfying cushion. (As someone wont to kick a leg out at random times during the workday, I found this detail a stroke of genius.)

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Tenon Tech

As for the desk itself, Beflo has thought of everything. The brand calls the Tenon the “Marie Kondo of desks,” which is accurate, but doesn’t quite capture how much tech has gone into this piece. It isn’t just large, clean and clutter-free, it also has a list of spaceship-esque specs, like:

  • Smart sensors that know when you’ve returned to your desk (plus an ambient light strip that urges you to get up when you’ve been sitting for too long). Great way to up your stand hours rate.
  • Sit-stand capability (up to 47 inches), powered by motors in the legs, which, for the life of me, I cannot hear.
  • Four built-in power plugs, along with USB-A and USB-C Ports.
  • A touchscreen panel — check it out here — from which you can control the desk’s various features.

Finding the Flow State

According to scientific research from the likes of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (once dubbed the “father of flow”), it takes 15 to 20 minutes for anyone doing a task to fall into the flow state. From there, though, the rich and unfettered state of mind can last for a half hour, potentially even hours.

The same way that carefully curated bedding helps me drift off to sleep, I’ve found the Tenon desk helps me tap into the flow state. One characteristic of the flow state is a “lack of awareness of [one’s] physical needs.” (You ostensibly become the opposite of a Sims character — perfectly unbothered as you plug away.) It’s hard to achieve that state if your desk is cramped, cluttered or clunky. But it’s really easy when you can unconsciously adjust the desk’s settings, pushing it up or down — shifting your position along the way — to make sure you feel fresh and engaged.

Not that the whole point of having a good workstation is work, work, work. It’s also good for your body, making sure your back never gets too achey, and good for your soul, too. This is a beautiful, inspiring desk, made from scratch-resistant solid oak or walnut.

Sure, I get my work done quicker. But I’m not in any rush.

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