Company cars become home office and tranquil refuge
21 April 2020
Author: Simon Harris
A survey has found a new definition of 'company car' as people in lockdown take refuge in their vehicles for peace, quiet and uninterrupted video calls.
The survey, from Venson Automotive Solutions, reveals the sometimes surprising ways people are using their cars. One in three people have openly headed to the car for some peace and quiet (35% of men and 20% of women), 16% have used in-car solitude for work calls and 8% have created an external office by using onboard WiFi or creating a WiFi hotspot in the car.
Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents have taken advantage of an essential journey by taking a longer route to extend their alone-time (20% of men and 28% of women).
While 6% of both men and women have taken to the car on the pretence of a work call but really, just sat and soaked up the quiet, listened to the radio or scrolled through social media and the news on their phone.
Alison Bell, marketing director of Venson commented: "Adapting to working from home has unsurprisingly proven to be a challenge as many of us have never done so before, or have only ever completed odd days here-and-there at the kitchen table while waiting for a delivery, a tradesman or looking after a sick child home from school.
"Never have we been forced to work only from home, either surrounded by the mayhem of our entire family or in complete solitude for the umpteenth day in a row.
"Those trying to balance providing child-care whilst working will have quickly realised it is not an easy environment in which to work effectively. So, it's probably not surprising many people are extending their home environment to include the privacy and quiet of their cars - giving 'company car' a whole new meaning.
"Some even, 10% of respondents, are using the boot of the car to store work documents or equipment - but we wouldn't recommend this as it presents potential issues with insurance cover as well as breaching company data security policies."
Aside from creating a dedicated office or workspace at home - be that indoors or in the car-office - there are some key steps work-from-homers can take to help them be motivated and productive.
These include getting dressed at the start of the day, sticking to the start and finish times of a typical working day, taking regular breaks - as well as getting out and about if not self-isolating - and picking up the phone to speak to colleagues.
The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) is offering advice to those struggling to adapt to these challenging times:
- Switch off constant news feeds. Check the news once or twice a day and only turn to reliable sources - there's much misinformation.
- Mute WhatsApp and Facebook groups if they are proving overwhelming.
- Embrace technology to connect with friends and family - even those you haven't spoken to in a while.
- Set a daily routine - but add an element of something new each day. Keeping a to-do list can help you keep focused and motivated.
- You can still go running, cycling or walking and there are lots of online workouts to explore for all levels of fitness. Keeping active will boost mental as well as physical wellbeing.
- Social distancing doesn't mean emotional distancing.