Every morning in every office, a flustered late-arriving employee makes a brisk entrance, mumbles an apology, complains about the traffic, and eventually comments on how relieved they are to be out of the car.
For many, the horrors of the early morning commute are over as soon as they step inside their place of work, but for the travelling businessperson, there is no such sweet relief. Their dashboard is their table, their hot drink flask is their desk mug, and their car seat is their desk chair. When you work on the road, your vehicle is your office.
Not every businessperson is fortunate enough to receive a company car as part of their package, whereas others find themselves commuting from point to point when they are self-employed. Here, we take a look at the five features that every travelling businessperson ought to look for when purchasing a vehicle that will ostensibly become their workspace for the foreseeable future.
Typical office workers keep their important items close to hand in order to make things easier for themselves throughout the working day. Their mobile phone stays in their pocket, and all the tools they need to operate – from the mouse to the monitor – are right there in front of them. When you work on the road, creating a convenient working environment is not quite as easy. Pulling out your phone or popping your laptop on your knee isn’t just impractical – it can actually put you in danger.
As a travelling businessperson, you’ll need to look for a car that offers maximum convenience and offers features that help you to do some work but simultaneously ensure you’re safe. To eliminate the need to look up information/addresses, search for a vehicle that comes with a good built-in Sat Nav system (or alternatively a place to safely fit your own). There needs to be ample room to prop up your smartphone, and enough space in the glove box and doors to stow away important business documents safely. It’s also worth looking at the mechanical aspects of the car too, like the stiffness of the doors and weight of the boot. When you’re in and out of your car on a frequent basis, any heavy doors will quickly become a chore to use.
No worker should ever have to use a defective desk, and similarly, no travelling businessperson should have to put up with an unreliable car. When you’re seeking the best vehicle for work on the road, always go for competence and ability over exterior style. Sure, appearances are important, but if you’re torn between a car you like the look of and a less attractive car with prospects for better performance, it’s always in your best interests to go for the latter option. Don’t let your heart rule your head. After all, you wouldn’t select a wonky workspace just because you liked the colour scheme, would you?
Remember, the longer the car has been on the road, the less reliable it is likely to be. Take the mileage clock into account before you declare your interest in a vehicle, and make sure you obtain copies of all the documents related to the car and its previous owners. Double check all the locks and dashboard lights to see if they’re functioning as they should be, and have peek under the hood to search for signs of rust or substantial wear and tear. Spotting issues right away can prevent costly fixes later down the line.
Seeking out a car with high fuel efficiency is also key – especially if you’re funding the vehicle yourself. Not only will you be doing your bit for Mother Earth by keeping emissions down, you’ll also save yourself a bundle on fuel costs, which is absolutely paramount given how filling up your car is likely to be one of your main expenses.
You don’t have to dive into the savings pot to get a vehicle with connectivity abilities these days. This is the modern world, and the addition of Wi-Fi and internet access in cars is not so much a luxury these days as it is a necessity. For the travelling businessman, a car that can generate its very own Wi-Fi hotspot is a wonderful little perk – helping to reduce crackling noises during phone calls and keeping a clear signal for healthy communication with clients and customers. Bluetooth technology is also worth looking for as this can allow you to link up your phone to the car itself.
Connectivity also involves the inclusion of added technological gadgets. As a travelling businessperson, you may benefit substantially from the likes of built-in road cameras, charging ports and advanced multimedia systems. Whilst these may appear as little more than stylish extras for the ordinary driver, they could actually prove integral to you when it comes to increasing your comfort levels and productivity whilst out on the road.
If there was an opportunity to grab a comfy desk chair in an office, you wouldn’t stick with a rigid, back-straining piece of furniture that forces you to get up and perform some stretches just so you can regain your concentration. The same goes for cars when you’re a frequent commuter. Comfort is key when it comes to productivity and general well-being, and you should take all the time you need to find a vehicle with interior materials, headrests, and seat adjustment features that put you at completely at ease when you’re on the road.
Also give the air con a good blast when you’re checking out a vehicle for the first time – testing out the hot and cold modes in the process. This little mechanism will play a considerable role in your comfort levels whilst you’re out on the road, and a good air con system will ensure you sit in a nice temperature regardless of the erratic weather conditions that plague the United Kingdom.
This sounds like a small thing, but as a travelling businessperson, your cup holder is actually a very important element to look for when you’re purchasing a car. You may have a beloved travelling flask you take with you everywhere, but if that doesn’t fit between you and the passenger seat, you’ll end up putting yourself in danger as hot coffee inevitably pours onto your legs and lap. Even if you aren’t particularly partial to a cup of Joe in the mornings, a reliable cup holder remains essential as it offers you way to remain hydrated whilst on the road. Frequent driving is actually thirsty work, and by having a spot where you can comfortably slot a big bottle of water, you’ll be able to remain fuelled up no matter where your journey takes you.
If you’re a travelling businessperson out on the road for long stretches of the day at multiple times during the week, always remember to look convenience, competence, connectivity, comfort and a darn good cup holder when you’re shopping for a car. Ensuring these five features are in place can help you to create a safe and stylish mobile office you’ll be proud to call your own. If in doubt, don’t hesitate about visiting a reputable car dealer for further advice.