If the need to work from home hit you unexpectedly – or is lasting longer than you thought it would – you’ve probably spent the last few months scrambling to find a way to get work done at home that actually…works. This can be especially difficult if you don’t have space for a dedicated home office. But if you’re still spreading out on your dining table and packing up at meal time, I’ve got good news: there’s a better way to build a makeshift home office, without busting your budget or cluttering up your home. All you need to do is buy one single piece of furniture: a laptop table.
What Is A Laptop Table?
So what’s the big secret? The answer lies somewhere between a lap desk, a desk desk, a TV tray, and an accent table: in the unique, C-shaped gem called a laptop table. While they may look a little odd at first glance, with offset legs on only one side of the table, they’re asymmetrical design is about more than just style. It also allows you to pull the table up to just about any chair, sofa, or seat, so the table itself sits right above your lap, without getting in the way of your legs.
Super Small Desks To Serve In A Pinch
Now, I’ll admit, laptop tables will make for an incredibly lean home office setup – you won’t have a ton of room to spread out, and with some very small tables, you might not even have room for a spare mouse, let alone a keyboard. That said, if you work exclusively on your laptop and phone, a good laptop table will let you turn just about any seat in your home into a fully functional spot to work, whether you’re typing, browsing, or taking a video call.
Petite, Stylish Accent Tables That Do Double Duty
Maybe my favorite thing about laptop tables, though, is that once you’re done with work, you can close your laptop, lift the table, and simply set it out of the way. Most models have a small footprint, and more than that they’re designed to be attractive accent tables. Unlike cheap plastic lap desks (or the budget-friendly eyesores that are rolling plastic laptop desks), these will look nice next to your sofa or armchair, and won’t be out of place with a lamp or book on top once you’re back at the office.
A (Small) Space To Call Your Own
Most importantly, though, even if your “home office” is in a space the rest of your family uses, you won’t have to pack up and clear out the way you do when using a dining table or kitchen island. As long as you have a little space to either side of the seat you’re using, you can even leave your laptop plugged in, set up, headset attached – or whatever you need! If you need a little extra space – either to store your laptop, put away accessories, or keep a few webcam-height-adjusting books close at hand, look for laptop tables with built-in magazine racks. Depending on the model and your own setup, these can even be big enough to stow away your laptop when it isn’t in use.
Mind Your Laptop Table Measurements
So what should you look for in a laptop table? There’s one piece of advice you really can’t skimp on: you have to check and double check the height of the table before you buy. Why? Because there’s always a bit of variation, both between the height of the tables and the height of the seat you’re using, and even in the size of your lap. For this type of desk to work well, you need it to be tall enough to fit comfortably over your lap while seated in the chair of your choice, but also low enough not to strain your wrists while typing. Much more than style, you need to be sure your laptop table is just the right size if you want to get any serious amount of use out of it.
A Truly Multi-Purpose Desk
Last but not least, laptop tables are an ideal solution for anyone that isn’t planning on working from home any more or longer than they have to. While for some it will certainly make sense to invest in a more permanent setup (whether it’s a desk in your living room, converting a closet into an office, or just finding a good place to put a home office), if you expect your work to return to normal sooner than later and don’t want to pour a lot of money into construction or office furniture, a laptop table should be all you need until you get back in the office. Bonus: once you’re back to work, it’ll make a great, stylish accent table that’s still there and usable as a desk if you need it!
There’s no one perfect solution for building a temporary home office, but if you’re looking for something affordable, compact, and efficient, a laptop table might be exactly what you need.