For over a year now, the work-from-home lifestyle has become the norm, requiring us to retrofit our spaces to serve a dual purpose. Some very creative makeshift desks and home office spaces have emerged during the pandemic, few more intriguing than the car desk.
It sounds like an accident waiting to happen, but used correctly (and safely), they can offer a practical way to turn your front or backseat into a working desk. And given the fact that many of us still don’t feel safe parking our laptops in a coffee shop for eight hours, it may be just what you need to find a truly dedicated working space.
Steering wheel desk
The majority of options for the car desk come in the form of a steering wheel attachment that hooks onto the lower part of the steering wheel, creating a lap desk feel for your vehicle/office. This workspace functions well if you are on the go and need to handle a few work items before driving to your next appointment. Just park, slip the attachment on, finish up that email or presentation, remove it, and go. In the same way, it can make eating a meal in the car a lot more pleasant.
Another option attaches to the steering wheel’s top, creating a more elevated desk for easier typing. This leaves more room for your legs, too, so if you are a taller person, it will be a more comfortable option.
Passenger side desk
A desk caddy in the front passenger seat turns your car into a legitimate office. The caddy can hold file folders, pencils, and other equipment, and the top can swivel out and toward the driver’s seat so you can easily type, meaning you could theoretically spend an entire workday in your car. Like the tilted steering wheel desk, it’s perfect when you need a change in scenery or simply a few hours in a semi-private workspace (as long as no one walking by gets curious about what you are doing in your car).
If you have someone else to drive you around, a desk in the back seat can help you get work done from the road. These desks attach to the backside of the front seat, and are adjustable to work at different heights. Some designs even come with cup holders and elegant faux woodgrain finishes. I don’t recommend working while (someone else is) driving to anyone prone to motion sickness, as even a little bit of typing while moving could derail your whole day.