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Back to work: 10 essential items you need to cope with the new no-kitchen rules

No kitchen? No problem! There are plenty of clever gadgets you can get to make life easier

Katherine Robinson

Many of us are putting away our lockdown loungewear and digging out our snazzy outfits as we prepare to return to the office after many months of working from home. But things are very different than they were the last time we set foot inside our workplaces. As well as making sure we have a good selection of face masks for the boardroom and all the safety essentials to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, some of us are going back to offices where the shared kitchen is temporarily off bounds.

RELATED: 11 best face masks for the office: The back to work accessory for the boardroom

Don’t panic, you’re not doomed to days without cups of tea or chilled drinks – there’s plenty you can do to get round the no-kitchen rule. Maybe you can all chip in and get a mini-fridge (or better still, sweet talk the boss to put it on expenses). And did you know you can get a USB cup warmer? We’ve gathered together all the clever gadgets for you, just keep reading!

Mini fridges


This cute 15l fridge has a quiet cooling fan and a snazzy frosted window. It can hold 15 drinks cans or two 1.5l bottles. There should be plenty of room for everyone’s snacks and drinks

iceQ 15l deluxe portable min fridge in blue, £64.99, Amazon




If you’re looking for something smaller and cheaper, iceQ’s 4l model does the trick. You’ve probably got room for 6 cans or a couple of people’s packed lunches.

IceQ 4l mini fridge in white, £34.99, Amazon



Kitchen multi-tool


There’s everything you could possibly need in this handy tool (but can’t go to the kitchen to get) like a spoon to stir your tea, a grater to add a little cheese to your pasta, or a knife to open a tricky package.

Kitchen multi-tool, £39.95, Not on the High Street



Tea/coffee cup warmer


Sadly the technology doesn’t exist for a USB kettle, but you can get a USB cup warmer to keep your tea warm since going to give it a quick blast in the microwave isn’t an option anymore. This one heats your beverage up to 80 degrees and has a nice wooden finish. It works best with cups that have a flat base.

UniM beverage warmer, £10.99, Amazon


RELATED: 10 cool lunch boxes for adults going back to work: from stylish M&S storage boxes to reusable lunch bags

Foldable travel kettle


The days of making tea for the whole office are best put on hold for now, and it might be a good idea to invest in a travel kettle for your own private use. This genius little number boils 800ml of water in a flash and folds down on itself so you can stash it away in your desk drawer at the end of the day.

Gourmia GK360 travel foldable electric kettle, £19.99, Amazon



Flask for hot tea and beverages


Another option is brewing your tea or coffee or home and simply topping your cup up as the day goes on. Thermos made this leak-proof 1.8l stainless steel flask with that very idea in mind. Its double wall vacuum keeps your beverages hot for up to 12 hours, while the flask is cool to the touch on the outside. You can use it for soups too and it also keeps liquids cold if you want to top it up with iced tea or water.

Thermos ThermoCafé multi purpose stainless steel flask 1.8l, £25.75, Amazon



Electric lunch box


No microwave? No problem – you can heat up your food in a jiffy by plugging in this electric lunch box. It’s easy to clean and dishwasher safe too.

Electric lunch box, £20.99, Amazon



Thermal lunch box/food container


If you prefer to heat your food at home and bring it in, this 620ml vacuum-insulated bowl will keep your food hot for seven hours (or cold for 11) and it looks absolutely gorgeous!

S’Well Teakwood eats, £24.99, S'Well



Self-cleaning water bottle with inbuilt filter


You don’t need to be getting water from the fridge if you get yourself a good water bottle. LARQ’s 500ml self-cleaning water bottle is as fancy as they come – it eradicates up to 99.99% of viruses and bacteria as it keeps your water chilled, it purifies on the go and is self-cleaning, activating every two hours. It uses advanced LED technology – meaning there’s no filter to replace – runs on a rechargeable battery and is completely chemical and ozone free. And it’s sure to draw some admiring glances when you’re sipping at your desk.

LARQ bottle, £95, LARQ



Self-cleaning water pitcher


If you want to go one step further in your quest for germ-free filtered water LARQ have just launched a self-cleaning pitcher. It has a unique two-step filtration system featuring top of the range UV-C technology which eradicates bio-contaminants, 90% of lead, chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper, zinc, VOCs, Radon, and more. Basically it'll keep your water as pure as nature intended and uses first-of-its-kind plant-derived filters which use 75% less plastic so it's better for the environment too. If you pre-order now you can get up to 45% off.

LARQ Pitcher, £135 (but pre-order now for up to 45% off), LARQ


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