Microsoft Office in the Car Makes Work Inescapable


car microsoft office

Edited Image. Originals from Flickr: karrygolden and Klaus Nahr

Harman, the consumer electronics company that specializes in car technologies, is adding Microsoft Office Suite to new cars’ infotainment systems. This means that touchscreen in your dashboard that lets you call Mom hands-free and change the radio station will now allow you to make PowerPoint presentations at stoplights. It’s like having the convenience of the office from anywhere with a road, but is that what we really want?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s weigh the pros and cons. According to this Gizmodo article, this technology is “…geared more towards letting drivers more easily listen and respond to emails, schedule meetings, and join Skype or other conference calls without taking their eyes off the road, or their hands off the wheel.” It later goes on to say that some features will only be available when the car is parked and/or in autonomous, or self-driving, mode. This could take care of the extra time you have in your vehicle. Because it connects with Cortana, voice control actions are also available. If two coworkers are traveling for work, this technology does allow the passenger to get work done while the other safely drives the car, meaning that there is no loss of productivity.

office phone

In some cases, it may be better to leave office work at the office.

However, with only Cortana integration mentioned, we must assume that there is no integration for Siri with this technology. This seems illogical considering Forbes found that the majority of people holding professional/managerial positions (i.e. business people) are iPhone users. The Verge also brings up a great point about voice control: How professional is it going to look if when your voice control misinterprets you? You could email the wrong person, say the wrong thing, or use the incorrect spelling or use of a word. This will likely not reflect correctly of your true intelligence.

In addition, do we really want to access our office tasks in the car? There is something to be said for having some time that is not devoted to work and instead, devoted to ourselves or those around us. For many, driving is their release. For some, it may be their only guaranteed alone time each day. For others, it may be a time to spend with your thoughts, make phone calls, listen to music, or get caught up on the latest news via the radio.

In conclusion, having access to Office in the car has its good and bad. There is value in being able to perform work tasks on the road or from the convenience of your car. That being said, it is important to remember balance in your lifestyle. There is a line between convenience and overworking that mustn’t be crossed for fear of exhaustion and lack of enthusiasm for your position.

office car

Timo Newton-Syms