Volvo introduce Skype productivity app to vehicles in automotive first

Days after a new French law has gone into effect, establishing workers' 'right to disconnect' from business after hours, Volvo has announced that it's introducing a Skype productivity app to its 90 Series vehicles, with the aim of making it easier for employees to transition between their office and car environment. 

“As autonomous driving technology develops, reducing the need for drivers to have their full attention on the road, new concepts are being developed which will allow them to better utilise their time while travelling,” says Volvo New Zealand general manager Coby Duggan about the new integration, which marks a first in the automotive industry. 

The app will be able to be used to view upcoming meetings and participant details, as well as joining meetings with one click via the centre display, as demonstrated in the video below. 

Microsoft's director of product management for Skype for Business, Ben Canning, says that Volvo is leading the way in its recognition that the nature of work is increasingly mobile. "People need to be productive from anywhere - including their cars," he adds.  

French legislator Benoit Hamon this week described the new French law as support for those who “leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash—like a dog.” 

Recognising the impact of workplace stress on healthcare costs, Volkswagen have already taken the step to block emails to some employees' Blackberries outside of working hours, while Daimler auto-delete any emails received by employees while they are on planned leave. 

Undoubtedly, the Skype app will be a handy tool for business people on the go and the easy-integration of the app makes it look like dialling in will be no more difficult a job than using your sat nav or audio system. 

An app worth having then or an unnecessary technology that'll further encroach on your work life balance? Watch the video up top and let us know what you think. 

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