Office with a view: prospects for using your car as a home office?
June 1, 2014 9:51 AM   Subscribe

It recently occurred to me that in a temperate climate, my car could be a nice place to work from, offering freedom to select the locale and the view and to change them at will. Has anyone tried this? How did you set it up? What worked and what didn't?
posted by Baeria to Work & Money (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
That's interesting...I work from home, and occasionally have worked temporarily from the car while I was on my way somewhere else. I live in a very temperate climate (Bay Area). The problem is that cars quickly overheat unless they are well-shaded, and typically shade will quickly move off your car as time passes. If you have to make phone calls, it can be distractingly noisy outside. I also was using my phone as a wireless hotspot, which was less than reliable. It's also not the best way to work ergonomically, since really you should be standing if you're working at a computer all day long, and there's no good place to set a laptop. But depending on the type of work you do, maybe you'd have a better experience.
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:55 AM on June 1, 2014

I wonder if a little trailer like this might work better.
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:56 AM on June 1, 2014

Contractors do this all the time, and in fact amazon sells a little desk thing that you can attach to the steering wheel. It got heavily mocked, because, you know, typing while driving. Obviously, you use it while parked. When we had geothermal heat installed, I'd invite the contractors in during long days, and they actually preferred to work in their cars and stayed out there. I think they were making phone calls and doing paperwork.
posted by selfmedicating at 10:04 AM on June 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

Works for Mickey Haller.
posted by pjenks at 11:34 AM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

"the lincoln lawyer" is the first in a sequence of mystery novels written by connelly, iirc. he practiced law out of the rear seat of a lincoln continental, due to marital troubles, and from my perspective as also having practiced law, it was entirely plausible. you just need the right electronics and support system, and you can practice law from the rear seat of a hyundai excel.
posted by bruce at 11:39 AM on June 1, 2014

Ask your local cop.
posted by dhartung at 12:27 PM on June 1, 2014

You can do it. But a friend told me long ago that a view is not good for working, and she was right. Whatever gains you might realize from flexibility could be offset by distraction. YMMV, but I'm most productive when I'm looking at a screen and nothing else.
posted by LonnieK at 7:38 PM on June 1, 2014

Depends on how much you need to get done on any given day. Most of the year I'm working in my sedan, which has contoured seats. After an hour or two it just gets uncomfortable, either from sitting for so long, or just generally being cramped by the seats and the cockpit. My work is generally more paperwork than phone calls, so being cramped while writing and shuffling files gets to me. I usually end up going to appointments in the morning, with a bit of paperwork mixed in during that time, and then finishing my work in the afternoon in my home office, where I can spread out a bit. If you had a vehicle with bench seats, like a Ford F150 for example, it might feel less cramped. I think a bit of it depends on personality as well. Working in your car feels more like being in public, as opposed to being completely alone at home, so it may contribute to productivity for that reason.
posted by vignettist at 3:57 AM on June 2, 2014

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