If you have ever wondered how you can access your office PC from home or on the road, rest assured there are quite a few options to let you connect to your workplace. As always, before installing anything on your PC, or attempting to work from home, contact your systems administrator to make sure this is an acceptable practice at your company.
Free services such as logmein.com allow you to connect to your office computer for free, but charge a small fee for advanced services such as printing from your home printer or sharing files back and forth between the two PC's. Logmein has an online portal which you log in to from any browser, and allows you to pick your PC from a list of choices and remote control as needed. Logmein.com is a great, simple tool for offices which have no type of gateway set up for users to connect remotely.
If you work in an office running any recent version of Windows Small Business Server, your company already has a gateway available for you to connect. This web portal will allow you to check E-mail via an Outlook-like web interface, connect to your assigned office PC, or check your company's internal Sharepoint website (if available). Check with your network or system administrator for details on how to access this powerful web portal, called Remote Web Workplace.
Another option available for remote access is known as Terminal Services, recently renamed my Microsoft as Remote Desktop Services. This setup generally consists of a dedicated server that users connect which displays their own private desktop used for accessing company resources remotely. Generally you will be advised by your network administrator if such an option even exists in your firm.
Here at Infostream, our very own Toffi takes advantage of Remote Web Workplace to access her office PC. She is currently working from outside the country, overseas! With her office PC left on at all times, she is able to log in remotely to our internal network to perform her invoicing and billing work during business hours that coincide with her hours at her current location. This solution has been so seemless for us, that most will probably be surprised to find out she's not working right here in our office with us!
Having work from home is never fun, but it's nice to know there are plenty of resources available when the time comes! As always, if there are any questions, please feel free to contact us here at InfoStream: www.infostream.cc