Right now, everyone’s talking about whether or not working from home will make it into the future. If you’re a mama then, whatever way you look at it, the answer to that question is going to be yes. In fact, you’re probably going to have to work wherever you can squeeze it in. Realistically, that often means your car! Here are three tips to help.
First of all, make sure that you always park the car before you start any work at all!! Even if it's technically legal (which it probably isn’t), keep your mind on the road. Great car accident attorneys may be able to help you in court, but not in the hospital!
Secondly, if you want to work, or just need, to do any focussed, task work in your car then try to choose a parking space astutely. Look for somewhere you can be at a comfortable temperature even without your engine running. It’s even better if you have decent lighting and access to toilet facilities.
Use the front passenger seat if you can
If you’re just catching up on messages then staying in the driver’s seat can be fine. If, however, you want to get any serious work done, then the passenger seat is usually your best bet. Having that bit of extra clear space can make it a lot easier to apply at least basic ergonomics. In particular, it can allow you to set up a lap desk.
You can buy these or make one with something padded (even clothing) and some kind of flat surface. This will allow you to use a tablet with an external keyboard or even a proper laptop. You might also want to try getting a headset with a microphone and seeing how you get on with voice typing.
If you need to have a video call in your car, then see if you’re required to have your camera on. It’s better not to but some people do insist on it. If you must, then see if you can use a photo as a background or at least blur the background. If you can’t do any of these, then cover up your back and side windows. Your front window will still let in light.
Think about battery life
Modern phones can be used for all kinds of purposes but the more you use them, the more you drain the battery. This is particularly true in winter as cold weather really does impact battery life. Particularly hot weather can also be hard on batteries. In principle, you can charge your phone from your car. In practice, however, this can be more complicated than it sounds.
Your other options are to carry spare batteries, portable battery packs and/or standalone devices with their own batteries. In general, it makes sense to use a combination of all of these. If a standalone device does a noticeably better job than your phone (and the job’s important), then it’s generally worth the investment.
Mobile WiFi hotspots are standout examples of this. Even basic ones can lock on to a signal better than most phones. They also have massively longer battery life. Standalone cameras and voice recorders can also be good investments. They tend to be small and affordable and still do a better job than phones.