By Brian McKay
For whatever reason, either for necessity or to avoid distraction, many people use their cars as an office space. So if you are on the road a lot for work or just need a quiet space, consider the following ways to turn your car into a personal office.
Powering your laptop
Unless you are working on your smartphone or tablet, your laptop is likely to be your main center of information, though you are probably going to need to recharge it at some point. Modern cars may have a power outlet for laptop charging but older cars won’t. Therefore you are going to need a USB power adapter to plug into your cigarette lighter. The adapters come in varying sizes and can be dependant on laptop brand so check with the retailer on which is the best for you.
Connecting to the internet
There are a number of options to connect your laptop to the internet. One way is to use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot and connect your laptop to it. Another way is to purchase a mobile wireless router that can connect up to 10 devices. These act as mobile hotspots but depend on a 3G or 4G connection to work. Both these options may incur a small fee to your phone provider.
The easiest and cheapest way to access the internet is to park somewhere near free wi-fi, for example, a cafe such as Starbucks. This is a bit sneaky, but by sitting in the car you won’t feel compelled to buy something for using their service.
Boosting your phone signal
We all know how frustrating it is when you need to use your phone but you can’t find a signal. A cell phone signal booster is incredibly useful. They come with a magnet mounted antenna to attach to your car and will ensure your phone doesn’t cut off when you're making an important call.
Printing your documents
There are many battery enabled printers available, and they often have enough charge to see you through the day, depending on the amount of printing you do. Most of them allow you to work wirelessly and will connect to your mobile devices.
If the paperwork isn’t urgent, then buy a printer that allows for remote printing. By keeping your printer at home or in the office, you can email it documents from your mobile device, and it will be waiting for you when you return, provided you remembered to turn it on of course.
Sitting in comfort
Finally, if you are regularly using your car as an office, you need it be as comfortable as possible. For that reason, you don’t need the steering wheel getting in the way. Sitting in the back seat is probably the best option with the front seats pushed forward. A lap desk is useful as these will comfortably hold several devices and will protect your legs from the heat of the laptop. Just don’t think about resting your coffee cup on it!