Remote working has become the norm over the past few months. But while many people spend their time working out of a home office, there are others who are forced to spend time on the road – either moving around town or traveling long distances in a regional sales territory. In either case, your car becomes your office by default. Do you know how to get the most out of your mobile office?
Transform Your Car Into a Productive Mobile Office
A good mobile office is one that’s safe, productive, and comfortable. And while the specifics of your mobile office depend on the type of work you’re doing, how you travel, and where you travel, the following tips will help you increase your productivity without compromising on safety and comfort.
1. Choose the Right Vehicle
Perhaps you already own a vehicle that you’re happy with, or maybe you need something new. Either way, it’s important to think about what you need out of a vehicle and what you can do to stay safe, productive, and comfortable.
When selecting a vehicle there are two major categories to consider:
- Performance/utility. No two mobile offices will be the same. Do you spend time driving to construction sites, or are you primarily traveling on interstates and highways? Is fuel efficiency a primary concern, or would you rather have something that’s able to handle rigorous terrain with ease?
- Cabin/comfort. Practically speaking, think about the cabin and comfort. How much legroom do you need? Does the console between the seats provide an adequate workspace. Are there certain digital features, plugins, and other advanced components that you need?
Spend some time thinking about vehicle selection and whether you’re satisfied with your current car. If the answer is no, make your next vehicle purchase based on how it’ll function as a mobile office.
2. Figure Out WiFi
Thanks to advanced technology, it’s possible to have WiFi internet access in your car from virtually anywhere. Best of all, it’s incredibly cost-effective.
Some of today’s newer vehicles come with hotspot devices built-in. But if your car is older and you don’t have this feature, you can always purchase your own hotspot device. Here’s a list of good options. Prices start around $100 and go all the way up to $250+. You’ll also need to purchase a plan to activate the hotspot. (Research coverage maps in your travel area to be sure you’re choosing an option that will provide reliable service.)
3. Buy the Right Gadgets and Gear
There are numerous devices, gadgets, and tools designed for turning cars into mobile offices. They include things like plug-in power inverters (for charging laptops), WiFi boosters, lap desks, and even mobile printers. The key is to select what you need but to avoid going overboard. Too many items will leave your office feeling crowded. Simple is best!
4. Have the Right Backend Office Support
While you can do most work out of your mobile office, there are certain tasks that you’re better off having support on. Don’t be afraid to partner up with the right service.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re a landlord who spends much of your week traveling around seeing properties. Having a reliable property management company in your back pocket lets you send a quick email, place a phone call, and have your office staff print contracts, make copies, and handle other tasks that would be cumbersome within the confines of your mobile workspace.
5. Know Where to Park
While you can certainly use hands-free calling to conduct phone calls while driving, most of your mobile office work will be conducted while you’re parked. But not all parking spots are created equal. Knowing where to park will help you do more with less.
Whenever possible, choose shady spots during the summer and sunny spots during the winter. This will help you maintain a more favorable temperature and reduce your need to run your vehicle to stay comfortable. If you’re using your computer, try parking directly outside of a place that you know provides free public WiFi (like a coffee shop or bookstore). Finally, park somewhere that you’re legally allowed to be. If you’re planning on working in your car for a couple of hours, make sure you aren’t encroaching on someone’s private property.
Work From Anywhere
With a fully functional mobile office you can, quite literally, work from anywhere. The question is, will you be safe, productive, and comfortable?
If you follow the tips outlined in this article, you’ll dramatically increase your chance of being successful. And whether this is a temporary setup or a long-term solution, the diligence you put into optimizing your mobile office will increase your success and satisfaction with the work you’re doing.