Inevitably when it snows people joke about how excited their kids are for a snow day and mention they too are excited to have a snow day. In a discussion on Facebook I noted that I loved snow as a child but as an adult I don’t get a snow day. I can work from anywhere.
So can you.
Do you currently have remote access to your office so if you cannot get into the office due to an emergency, or simply want to work from home, you are able to do so? Or did you get stuck at home due to today’s snow and find yourself unable to work?
With some simple preparation you can avoid getting caught out of the office and be able to access what you need from anywhere.
There are even numerous programs which will let you work from your phone, but given the size of the phone screen, not quite as useful as working from a laptop or a tablet like an iPad.
There are a variety of ways to connect a remote computer to an office. I’m going to avoid going into the details and just explain what you need to access your office remotely. If you want detailed information on how this stuff works, check out How Stuff Works for an article on VPN (Virtual Private Networks) or for an article on Remote Login. The difference between the two doesn’t matter for our purposes. What matters is you are able to get to the data you need and work on it from out of the office.
What You Need
1. Computer (or two – depending on your set up.)
2. Application that will enable you to connect.
3. An Internet connection on both ends.
If you have these three things you can make things very easy for yourself by going online and purchasing software along the lines of GoToMyPC, RealVNC, or LogMeIn. There are other software options too. For other options take a look at this search on Google
Look at the various types of applications. Most of them offer a free time period or free version. Make sure when you find the one you like you pay for it. Make sure also that whatever you choose offers good security. As attorneys, we of course need to be very aware of security concerns in terms of keeping client information private.
Once you pick one, install it, or access it as noted in the directions. All three of the applications I mentioned above are quite easy to use.
If your application requires you to leave your computer on, make sure you do. Be sure in that case your computer cannot fall asleep or hibernate. At first I let my computer sleep and/or hibernate but I found I wasn’t able to connect despite information telling me otherwise. You will need to go into your power settings to adjust those features. You can still shut down your monitor, but leave the PC itself on.
A Note About Security
I will mention one more security item. Be sure that whatever Internet connection you are using to access your office is secure. Free internet connections or those used in hotels are normally not secure and the information you are sending or receiving can potentially be stolen. Also make sure you are careful to keep your computer(s) up-to-date in terms of virus protection and spyware.
There, now you have no excuse not to be able to work next time it snows.
Thrilled, aren’t you?