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Upgrade your work from home office with these tools and gadgets

Here is a selection of tools and gadgets to make working from home more efficient, safer, and enjoyable.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Working from home can be very different to working from the office. Here is a selection of tools and gadgets that make my workday better, and might help you be happier, more productive, and more efficient.

Disclosure: ZDNet may earn an affiliate commission from some of the products featured on this page. ZDNet and the author were not compensated for this independent review.

You're probably going to be doing a lot of shopping vial mail order over the coming weeks, and that means opening packages. But since you don't want to be taking a trip to the OR right now, it's a good idea to be able to do that as safely as possible.

The Slice Mini Ceramic Box Cutter is a simple addition to the office or workshop. It features a durable, replaceable (no tools needed) ceramic blade that's sharp enough to open boxes, but not sharp enough to slice fingers. The body is made of strong nylon, and there's a built-in magnet so you can fix the Slice up somewhere convenient.

It's cheap, convenient, safe, and perfect for ambidextrous usage.

Slice Mini Ceramic Box Cutter

Want to avoid the horror of your coffee or tea going cold? Don't want to spill your beverage on your laptop (again)? There's no better mug for than the Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum Travel Mug.

The cup has been designed to 100% keep liquids in the mug until you want to drink them, and the double-walled stainless steel design not only keeps hot drinks hot for up to seven hours, and cold drinks cold for as long as 18 hours, but it's also super durable and easy to clean.

Contigo Autoseal West Loop Vacuum Travel Mug

I'm a huge fan of these. They work perfectly, and seem to be super durable. My collection has grown form one to many, and they are just amazing. I no longer worry about damaging my MacBook's fragile USB-C port, and have used them in other places too.

Get one (or more!). Highly recommended!

20-pin USB-C magnetic breakaway connector

How I upgraded my USB-C power banks and chargers to make them easier and more convenient to use (in pictures)

Even in self isolation, I can still seem to lose things. My routine is different, so keys and wallet and other bits and bobs end up in odd places.

I now have a Tile Pro on my keys, Tile Stickers in my backpack and luggage, and Tile Slim in my wallet, which has me covered against losing most of my things. It's the sort of tech that you forget is there until you need it.

Also, it has the added advantage that I can use a Tile to find my lost iPhone!

These USB rechargeable AA and AAA batteries are super-useful in things like computer peripherals or remote controls. Great when you can't run to the shops to get replacement batteries (not that they are all that good fo the planet!). 

Just make sure someone doesn't toss the dead ones into the recycling!

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router has been the perfect backup to my sometimes flakey internet connection, especially as the Personal Hotspot feature in iOS has been a bit unreliable too

It's expensive, but I've taken the Netgear Nighthawk M1 with me to several countries, and it has performed flawlessly. Sure, I could use my iPhone as a mobile hotspot, but using a dedicated tool means I'm not hammering my battery life, while at the same time giving me access to a whole host of advanced features, such as support for up to 20 separate devices.

And for when the signal is a bit poor, I can attach an external 3G/4G antenna and give the signal a bit of a helping hand.

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