What to look for in your next car to make it a productive space.
Who sits at a desk all day anymore? And, who wants to? On laptops, tablets and even phones, we work where we are, where we can and where we want to. Often, that means working in the car.
Your car can be a great place to work. You can keep files and supplies handy, connect with your colleagues and be available for calls. And, you can be productive in those pockets of time that we used to spend playing Words with Friends.
You can buy lots of equipment to set up your mobile office, but if your car makes it easy to pop open your laptop, log on and get a proposal out while you’re sitting in the school pick up line, all the better. Here are the 5 top things a car should be able to accommodate to make a great mobile office:
- Telescoping steering wheel: This lets you move the steering wheel out of the way so you can use a laptop or place a file on your lap for writing.
- Movable driver’s seat: Ideally you want the driver’s seat to move back at least about 8 inches from your seat setting so you have enough space between you and the steering wheel to work
- WiFi: Many cars come equipped with 4G LTE connectivity; with monthly data plans or a buy-it-as-you-need it options, you can connect up to 10 devices on a single signal. If your car doesn’t have WiFi, you can buy a WiFi hotspot from AT&T and many smartphones now have hotspot capability, too.
- Bluetooth: Always a must for hands-free phone and music while you’re driving; keep it activated while working in the car, too. You can make and take calls, still take notes or use your computer while on the phone.
- Power: Many cars now come with a household plug outlet, usually on the back of the center console, or sometimes inside the console. This allows you to plug in your tablet, laptop or even a printer or other gadget while you’re working (be sure to check the wattage and make sure it’s compatible with your device or gadget). Also look for USB ports, usually on the center stack or inside the console; make sure you have at least one easily accessible, but two or three are even better. And if you fall in love with a car that doesn’t have a household plug, you can buy an adapter for the cigarette port—clunky, but worth it.
There are many cars that make great mobile offices. Some of our favorites are:
- The Chevrolet Silverado may be the ultimate work space: the center console has a gutter that is perfect for holding phones and tablets, the console is deep and holds laptops, files and more and the cab has 11 power outlets (USB, cigarette and household type). If a pickup truck isn’t practical, the Chevrolet Tahoe has many of these great features, too.
- The Mercedes-Benz C400 is a beautiful mobile office, and envelops you in luxurious leather and appointments, too. It has all our criteria, including a driver’s seat that moves quite a nice ways back from the dashboard.
- The Dodge Charger: This muscle car is also a comfortably sized sedan with room to spread out, plenty of power ports and WiFi.
- Lincoln MKC: This new crossover features a pushbutton gear selector that frees up critical space in the front cabin; no more gear shift getting in the way of work.
- Hyundai Genesis: Another luxury car with plenty of space, most critically the telescoping steering wheel and a driver’s seat that moves back easily.