How to build a smart home office

Our expert advises on the best gear for a tech-savvy workplace

The Reader

Tom Stone

Tom

Tom has negotiated flexible working, so he's keen to transform his back bedroom into an office that's packed with the hardest-working tech to help get his job done quicker.

The Expert

Chris Haslam

Chris

Home-technology expert Chris was writing about kettles way before they became smart. As a dedicated freelancer, he's acutely aware of the tech that helps him hit deadlines.

1. Apple MacBook Air

£749

Light, sleek, twice as fast as the previous model and boasting a 12-hour battery life, this is still one of the best laptops in town. OK, so some of the specs might be starting to date – especially compared to the new MacBook Pro – but unless you're editing 4K video, Apple's MacBook Air is a proper workhorse that's arguably more productive than most tablet and wireless keyboard offerings.

Air

Thanks to the ever-expanding selection of accessories, from monitor stands to keyboards and Thunderbolt drives, you can transform your MacBook Air into a powerful workstation when you're not coffee-shop hopping.

2. Jake Dyson CSYS Desk Lamp

£399

Following in the footsteps of his dad, Jake Dyson has reinvented the desk lamp and created this elegant design with a bulb that lasts a whopping 37 years. Touch-sensitive, with precision dimming, the CSYS Desk Lamp consumes a fifth of the energy of a halogen bulb. Heat-pipe tech cools the LEDs to sustain brightness over 37 years, while the three-axis glide motion enables you to adjust the light rotationally, horizontally and vertically with the tip of your finger.

Dyson lamp

A precision-dimming feature enables you to adjust the CSYS to the exact brightnessyou need. The dimmer has a memory function, too, so when you switch the light back on, the level is as you left it.

3. Libratone Zipp Wi-Fi/Bluetooth 4.0 speaker

£299.95

There's no point trying to cram a huge hi-fi into a small home office. The ZIPPis compact, but doesn't compromise on sound quality or connectivity. Designer style belies a hi-tech heart that's bursting with NFC, Bluetooth aptX, Apple AirPlay, USB charging, a built-in battery and Spotify Connect compatibility. The end result? A deeply impressive sound from a small unit that offers subtle yet refined, room-filling audio from its 10cm bass driver and pair of ribbon tweeters.

speaker

Thanks to battery power and USB charging,you can play the ZIPP away from a mains power source and use it to charge your phone. With FullRoom tech for 360-degree sound, and a choice of 14 wool covers, this designer speaker sounds as good as it looks.

4. Canon Maxify MB2350

£130

This all-in-one inkjet printer, scanner and photocopier enables you to wirelessly tackle the office admin, print frame-worthy holiday snaps and knock out copies of your CV, all from your tablet or smartphone (as well as your desktop computer or laptop). It's compatible with Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and Maxify Cloud Link, and busts out a respectable 23 pages per minute.

Canon

Dual paper-feed trays, a 200-sheet capacity, automatic duplex printing and one-button copying… Say hello to Maxify, your new office assistant (without the living-wage request).

5. Dyson AM09 Hot & Cool Fan Heater

£400

There's no sense in heating the whole house just to keep your office warm.The Dyson AM09 can heat to a specific temperature for a set period of time, generate focused warmth, diffuse heat to the whole space or cool the room down during hot summer months.

Dyson

Using Air Multiplier technology, the AM09 draws in 28 litres per second. The lack of blades means it's not only finger-safe, but also 75 per cent quieter than a standard fan.

6. Ikea Nilserik Stool

£35

Stand-up working will improve your health and posture, and help you to burn calories – but it's harder than you'd imagine. Ikea's adjustable-height stool provides a handy perch when you need a breather. The convex base is balanced so that you can rest your legs while keeping your spine upright.

Ikea

The Nilserik's height can be adjusted from 51cm to 71cm. Taking time to ascertainthe most comfortable height for workingat your desk will improve your posture.

7. Ikea Bekant Sit/Stand Motorised Desk

£475

If it's good enough for Ernest Hemingway... Working standing up burns around 450 calories more per day compared to sitting, as sitting for more than an hour can reduce the production of fat-burning enzymes by as much as 90 per cent.

smart office

The Bekant Sit/Stand Motorised Desk is the first official design from Ikea, and is suitable for people up to 6ft2 tall. It has motors built into the legs for quick, easy adjustments whenever you need to change it up.