A desk on four wheels: How to turn your car into your second office


  • Social media
  • Sunday, 17 May 2020

Too many distractions at home? With the right setup, you can easily turn your car's cockpit into a lockdown office. — Alexander Heinl/dpa

Millions around the world have suddenly found themselves working closer to their fridges and family members than they might like.

For anyone that needs to get out of the house for a bit while working remotely during the lockdown, the humble car can do a surprisingly good job at being a replacement office, as a creative few have pointed out on social media.

Isolated and distraction-free, it comes ready with a coffee holder and hands-free phone conferencing. Best of all, you can even move it to wherever you want your office to be.

To turn the driver's seat into emergency desk, there are a few things you might need first, such as an adapter for charging your laptop or a cushion to support your back.

Charging your laptop

Don't worry about draining the car battery by plugging in your laptop, say the specialists at Auto Club Europa (ACE). Normally, the battery won't be empty if you're just working for a few hours.

If you're planning on working there for longer without driving the car, however, it's worth investing in a power bank to remove any risk of an empty battery.

Most modern cars come equipped with an integrated USB port for charging devices, but you may also need an adapter to charge your device through the cigarette lighter.

Desk space

Folded forward, the front passenger seat will give you some extra working space for a laptop, pen and pad. The side compartments on the doors, meanwhile, can be used to stow any documents that won't fit under the front seat or glove compartment.

Balancing a laptop on your knees for hours can be uncomfortable, which is why you might want to invest in gadget that hooks a small workspace onto your steering wheel.

A quick online search for "steering wheel desk" will show up countless results for affordable car tables roughly the size of seat-back trays on airplanes.

If your car seat isn't the most comfortable in the long term, you may also want to invest in a special cushion designed to offer lumbar support for drivers.

You'll also want to park some place where it won't be too noisy if you want some fresh air and where it won't be difficult to get out and stretch your legs every now and again.

Staying online

Of course, most people will probably need a stable Internet connection to get any work done. If your car isn't equipped with its own connection, your smartphone should be able to help.

Provided you have enough mobile data, you can turn on your mobile phone's hotspot and connect to this from your laptop as you would with any normal WiFi network.

If that won't work, you can try parking somewhere where there's an open wireless network in range. This won't be suitable for all employees, however, and it might be worth checking with your company's IT team before sending sensitive documents on an unsecured connection. – dpa

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