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Still working at the kitchen table? It’s time to upgrade your space.

For many of us, working from home has been a reality for a long time and seems it will continue for a while. If you’re still working from a laptop on the kitchen table, it’s past time to set up a more convenient solution that saves space, time and your aching neck.

For maximum ergonomics a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor are best, but can be a nightmare for cable management. If your laptop is recent it should have a USB-C port you can route everything through; I’m currently using a $109 Satechi Multiport Adapter V2 to connect my monitor, USB devices, power adapter and SD cards to my laptop all with a single plug.

A USB-C adapter and a stand can drastically reduce the amount of desk space your laptop takes up, while also making it easy to tuck cables away.

A USB-C adapter and a stand can drastically reduce the amount of desk space your laptop takes up, while also making it easy to tuck cables away.

If your laptop’s older you may need to go direct from it to the monitor, and pick up a powered USB hub (I’ve always had luck Targus brand) to get all your accessories into one neat bundle.

If you’re using a monitor and closing your laptop, you can save a lot of space with a dock or stand. Satechi also has a good option here, with a $75 adjustable vertical stand that takes up just a few centimetres of space on your desk while making it easy to remove your laptop when you want to go work on the couch.

And if your work also involves a tablet or phone, you can do wonders for your posture by having it on a stand too. The $140 HoverBar Duo from Twelve South is the most convenient and flexible option I’ve used, able to put your device at any height, angle or orientation. It comes with both a weighted base and a clamp, as well as an adjustable arm and a clever clip that doesn’t block charging ports.

The Hoverbar Duo can hold your tablet at eye level for more comfortable use.

The Hoverbar Duo can hold your tablet at eye level for more comfortable use.

The clip adjusts from around 13 cm to around 22 cm, so I could use it comfortably with iPads, an Android tablet, all but the smallest phones, a Microsoft Surface and even a Nintendo Switch.

And while I’d hoped to never use a printer again, when you need one you really need one. The old printer in my house was ink-hungry and unreliable, bulky and needed to be physically connected to my computer, which is the worst. If you need a new printer the temptation is strong to go very cheap, but that’s a bad idea long term. Look for a continuous ink tank printer like Epson’s EcoTank, Canon’s MegaTank or HP’s Smart Tank line, which are extremely efficient, refillable with liquid ink rather than extortionate cartridges and (for the most part) do Wi-Fi.

I’ve been using Epson’s $639 ET-5150, which uses less than half a cent of ink per page and also has an auto-feeding document scanner. It’ll be overkill for most at $639, but you could get the same benefits and monochrome-only printing with the $399 ET-M2170, or ditch the scanner and look for the $249 ET-M1120.

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