Nissan Office Pod Concept

The Nissan NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept. Image via Twitter @TNTimesDrive

Home office to roaming office: Nissan’s ‘ideal’ work-from-wherever van

The Nissan NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept features an office desk and chair, that can slide in out of the van… and oh, it also offers a glorious rooftop deck experience.

Nissan Office Pod Concept

The Nissan NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept. Image via Twitter @TNTimesDrive

Like much of the world contending with the COVID-19 pandemic, many South African employees are wondering just when they can return to their offices – while others are just simply dreading it.

And, with an army of “remote” workers now operating from makeshift home offices around the world, remote work has increasingly become an integral part of the global economy’s many new norms. In South Africa, home offices come with a significant additional challenge — that of operating in the long, dark shadows of Eskom.

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Enter the Nissan NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept

But there may be some light at the end of the tunnel — and it comes in the very business-like form of Nissan’s NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept, which was rolled out in Japan during mid-January at the virtual 2021 Tokyo Auto Salon.

A striking new approach to the idea of a mobile office, the Office Pod, while not available yet, should prove an enticing option for remote working South Africans, or even entrepreneurs looking for office space out in the field.

Loadshedding, noisy kids and neighbours, barking dogs and that nagging spouse would disappear quietly into the settling dust behind your NV350 Caravan as you drive to a new office location of your choice. The Office Pod could truly flip the “work-from-home” reality to a “work-from-wherever” practicality.

Step into the Pod to see its main features:

Nissan’s office on wheels

Based on the Nissan NV350 van, the NV350 Caravan Office Pod Concept features a retractable office with a computer desk and what appears to be a delightfully ergonomic office chair.

The office pod fits neatly into the back of the Caravan, but should you choose to take your workspace-on-wheels to a more picturesque spot, the pod slides out of the back of the van on rollers, allowing you to finesse your expense, including travel of course, reports in tune with nature.

Work hard, relax hard

As if the practical office component was not enough, the Nissan Office Pod’ comes with a rooftop deck that is undoubtedly also one of its standout features.

It includes a lounge chair and a fold-out umbrella — ideal for those times when you “really need to concentrate”.

Importantly, and along with a number of other interesting and useful features, the van is also equipped with a power inverter to ensure that the vehicle and its appliances can continue to operate in the absence of Eskom.

Off the radar?

As for the wavy body graphics, Nissan says they are decorative only, but as reports, “we can’t help but wonder if the NV350 Office Pod Concept does — or could — take the concept of being off the radar quite literally and deflect probing signals.”

As for The South African, we can’t help but wonder if the Office Pod concept was purpose-created for high-flight executives who are always on the run. Someone like former Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn perhaps…

Of course, this is a concept only, based on a van not sold in South Africa (although the NV350 is sold in Mexico as the Urvan).

Other Nissan entrants from the Tokyo show

Nissan Play Gear Concept. Image: Supplied

This concept car is based on the freshly-facelifted Nissan Note E-Power, a series hybrid that uses an electric motor to drive the front wheels and a 1.2-litre gasoline engine to keep the battery charged.

The Play Gear concept gets matte gray paint, 17-inch wheels, and a roof box that is bound to do wonders for fuel economy.

Definitely no office-on-wheels.

The two production models, the Kicks Autech and Note Autech, both feature blue-and-black paint and upholstery along with unique wheels and grilles.

Nissan already makes an Elgrand Autech, and the new-to-Tokyo concept version promises “a fusion of the suspension of the Nissan GT-R.” Rig it up with an office in the back and sign us up!

Nissan is showing other vehicles, including the Nissan Z Proto (called Fairlady Z Prototype in the home market), the 2022 Ariya electric crossover, the once again-updated 2020 GT-R Nismo, and the Leaf Nismo.