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‘Car office’ popular for Kiwi workers

29 March 2016

‘Car office’ popular for Kiwi workers

Move over cafes, the “car office” is rising: a new Regus survey has found many Kiwi workers make phone calls or check emails while in their cars.

The global survey of more than 40,000 businesspeople asked what work tasks people carried out in these locations: in the main office, at a cafe, in the car, in a business lounge, at a hotel and on public transport.

Half of Kiwi respondents said they were happy to make work-related phone calls in the car and a similar number said they would check emails in the car.

Kiwis preferred to make work-related phone calls in their car than at a cafe, with only one in five happy to make these calls at their local coffee shop. However, two-thirds of workers were okay with sending emails at the cafe.

“Working at cafes is an appealing option for some workers, but this survey shows their limitations as workspaces, in particular around their lack of privacy,” said Regus New Zealand Area Director Pierre Ferrandon.

“Only 2% of Kiwi respondents would make sensitive phone calls in a cafe, while 36% were happy to do so in a car. Mobile technology has made phone calls on the road a viable option, but cars have their own obvious limitations as workspaces.”

One in eight workers said they would send a sensitive email from a cafe and one in six would carry out their core duties from this location. One in eight were open to doing core work duties in the car.

However, public transport was the most unpopular work location for almost all tasks. Only 5% of New Zealand respondents were comfortable making phone calls on the train, bus or ferry and only 4% carried out core work on their daily commute.

“Getting work done on a bus, train or ferries can be very difficult. They are often noisy, making it hard to conduct a phone conversation, and it is easy for people to look over your shoulder at sensitive documents or email,” said Ferrandon.

The survey found the main office is the preferred work location overall but business lounges and hotels also rate highly for many tasks.

Half of respondents were happy to carry out core work duties in a hotel, compared to 43% who would do so in a business lounge. Business lounges were preferred for sensitive emails but hotels were preferred for sensitive phone calls.

“With a growing trend towards flexible working, employees and entrepreneurs are carrying out work tasks in many different places,” said Ferrandon.

“Businesses must have a dialogue with individual employees to find solutions that work for them. In the modern workspace it is results that matter, not where you achieve them.”

In which locations are you happy to carry out the following activities?

Main officeCafeCarBusiness loungeHotelPublic transport
Short queries, replies by email92%67%34%76%71%38%
Checking email, not responding68%73%51%68%68%73%
Longer/sensitive emails96%12%7%57%52%1%
Making phone calls91%21%52%47%60%5%
Sensitive phone calls89%2%36%18%44%0%
Approving documents97%26%11%46%47%10%
Core work duties97%16%12%43%51%4%
Conference calls95%3%13%26%41%0%
Video calls92%2%4%21%37%0%


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