United Kingdom

You can turn your car into a home office with handy attachments

You might not be able to use your car during the coronavirus lockdown, but you can convert it into a home office to escape the isolation bedlam in the house.

We reveal how you can turn your parked vehicle into a temporary working from home haven if loved ones, kids or flatmates are driving you up the wall.

Handy steering wheel attachments for laptops and the use of onboard wi-fi in the latest models means the car could be the ideal place to get work done during the pandemic.

Office away from home: If you want to work remotely away from the chaos in the house, you could convert your car into an office using some handy attachments like this

The Government has recommended that people can still drive their cars during the restriction on movements, but only for one of a number of approved reasons.

This includes shopping for essentials, attending a medical appointment, assisting an elderly or vulnerable person, or getting to or from work if you can't work from home. 

Police forces have said that motorists are no prohibited to use vehicles to drive to locations to go for a walk or any other form of once-a-day exercising. 

But while you might not be allowed to drive your car, there's no restriction from using it to escape the house.

Cramped families forced to stay at home during the coronavirus lockdown can now transform their vehicles into substitute places of business.

That means under-pressure workers can continue to function away from the office without unwanted interruptions.

Easy-to-attach desks that latch onto the steering wheel can instantly make a motor into a working hub – and they are available online for less than £10.

We found examples of attachments for as little as £4 online - before postage and packaging. 

Some have taken to social media to post images of their four-wheel office setup.

Daniel Beckemeier, a software consultant from near Hannover in Germany, posted a photo on Twitter of the interior of his BMW.

It shows him working with his laptop against the dashboard, his mouse on the centre console arm-rest and his keyboard in his lap.

He posted: 'Doing "Car-Office" from the parking lot today. Prevent blocking limited VPN tunnels and bandwith for parents and risk patients, while working isolated via WIFI. Not so ergonomic, but if it works it ain't stupid.'

Since the Covid-19 health crisis started to spread to these shores, millions of desk-bound Britons have been forced to find a suitable working environment within their own four walls.

But with educational establishments having closed and children currently being home-schooled instead, precious space in the average family dwelling is limited.

Mark Tongue, director of leading UK vehicle leasing firm Select Car Leasing, says stationary cars can come in handy during these testing times.

'We are seeing on social media quite a few people transforming vehicles that are parked up on the driveway into working-from-home sanctuaries, ' he said.

'It seems to be an especially handy option for those who need quiet time for a conference call without the kids screaming in the background.

'Workers trying to focus on pressing deadlines can also hop in their cars and get on with the job in peace.

'You might not be using your car as often on the road, but it can still be a very useful commodity to you in ways you may never have imagined before.

'Even if you aren't currently working, the car can offer a peaceful chill-out space away from the commotion indoors.' 

More extreme options for the car-office hack include fitting a printer in your glovebox and using the boot as a filing cabinet.

There is also the potential to add a power inverter to charge laptops and mobile phones, and create your own in-car wi-fi hotspot by the use of affordable signal boosters.

There's a range of attachments available online that are ideal for setting up a small laptop and working remotely from a car

Other options for the car-office hack include fitting a printer in your glovebox and using the boot as a filing cabinet

Ford is one of the brands that has made in-built wi-fi available in some of its models in recent years

The latest models from brands such as Ford and Mercedes-Benz already have their own in-built internet, providing the facilities to work remotely from your garage or driveway. 

It's not just work that can benefit from using your car just for travelling – your mental health can get a boost, too.

Psychotherapist Lohani Noor is recommending her housebound clients struggling for space go to their vehicle for therapy sessions.

She said: 'I'm actively encouraging people to think of all their resources during this very stressful time, and one of the best for privacy and downtime is your car or van.

'If you've got a vehicle you have got space outside your house to get some privacy.

'The car is a really big mental health resource right now.' 

Want to know more about what you can and can't do when it comes to driving during the coronavirus lockdown? Read our guide. 

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