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How can I work remotely from home?


Note: This article has been updated in March 2020 to assist users working from home remotely during national lockdowns and shielding from COVID-19.

There are many ways of working remotely away from the office depending on your requirements.  Below we will discuss some of the methods available to home working.


A VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection provides a secure and encrypted connection from your home device to the company LAN (Local Area Network).  Using a VPN will make your home device look as if it was actually in the office and the company network.  You would have all the same access as you would if you were in the office.

You would be able to access the company shared drives and resources such as networked printers, etc.

Setting up the VPN connection does require some IT skills to setup on your home device as well as a system administrator with in the company giving permissions to access the network via a VPN.  If you're using your own home equipment to connect to the company network (this is a really bad idea for so many security reasons) please ensure you have the latest OS (operating system) patches installed and all devices are running up to date anti-virus software.

It is also important to note that both the home network and the company network should not be using the same IP Address network, as this can often cause VPNs to fail.  For example, most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will provide a home a preconfigured router which usually defaults to the network 192.168.0.x.  For VPNs to work successfully the company network would need to be on a different network address range, for example 192.168.50.x.

Here is a quick guide on setting up a PPTP VPN connection on Windows 10.

Sharing Data

There may not be a need to have full access to the company network by using the above VPN solution.  You may only need access to a few files.  If this is the case then using file sharing solutions like Dropbox or OneDrive are options. 

Before using such a service, please check their security policies, as not all services store the shared data on their servers in an encrypted format.  You (or your company) would need to factor this in alongside your own GDPR data security policy.

Remote Desktop

For many remote users remote desk-toping is the preferred choice.  It basically gives your home device the ability to connect to your work device and share the screen/s, keyboard and mouse locally.  This is often a good option if your local home PC is of a lesser or mid-range specification and your office PC has a high spec for running high-powered applications. There are many remote desktop solutions on the market, Microsofts Remote Desktop (aka MSTCS), AnyDesk, TeamViewer, VNC, to name a few.

Most of the above solutions offer a free option, under a fair usage policy.  However it is strongly recommended any company purchases the correct number of licenses as per each suppliers' licensing terms.

Here is a quick guide on setting up AnyDesk and TeamViewer.

Accessing Emails

Often a company provides its users access to their emails remotely.  This can be provided in a many ways, using IMAP, POP3, Microsoft ActiveSync, and even WebAccess.  For detailed instructions on this speak to your company system administrator as not all setups are the same.

Emails via the web

If a company does offer web based access to their emails then you will need to speak to the local system administrator for the URL and any necessary credentials. 

For company running Office365 then emails can be accessed by going to the Microsoft 365 portal -

Some companies running on-premise versions of Microsoft Exchange can often access their emails using the OWA (Outlook Web Access) and going to a URL similar to, but always ask the company sysadmin first for the URL, and remember you maybe asked to sign a remote working policy before using it.

Additional Notes

In the above article we (Prolateral) mention several 3rd party solutions.  These are all popular solutions and Prolateral does not endorse the use of, nor is Prolateral affiliated to any of these solutions.  This article is designed to give the reader several options for them to make their own decisions

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The Origin of this information may be internal or external to Prolateral Consulting Ltd. Prolateral makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information. However, the information provided in this document is for your information only. Prolateral makes no explicit or implied claims to the validity of this information. Any trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners.