Apr 27 2009
I remember $.75 gas. Of course, back then remote access to the office
meant literally dialing in with a modem. A lot has changed.
Interestingly enough, most of today’s Mac freeware comes from
Microsoft, and it will let you chat with your corporate buddies, check
your calendar and ever remotely access your work pc. And, because it
si mostly Microsoft, you won’t have to hard a time getting IT to
Corporate IM is a great tool to stay in touch with cooworkers, or just
look like you are working to you manager.
Whatever your purpose, if
your shop uses Office Communicator, you’re in from home. Provided you
can VPN in or that your IT department has opened IM up outside your
network, you’ll be chatting away with a slightly more limited feature
set than your PC buddies.
Messenger for Mac and enter your work credentials. You should only
need your exchange login and email address.
Alternatives: Office Communications Server also supports
chatting with contacts on MSN, AOL and Yahoo. If this feature is
enabled at your workplace (or if you use another publc chat network)
consider Adium, the swiss army
knife of Mac chat.
For many, email drives their workday. However unless you have
Entourage (and don’t bother getting it just for this) AND VPN access
to your exchange server, you may not be able to get full email access.
Of course, iPhone 2.0 supports Exchange but for most the best bet here
is Outlook Web Access. Configured by your IT staff, this url (often
https://mail.yourcompany.com or https://email.yourcompany.com) allows
for SSL access to your email from your browser.
Alternatives: Exchange also supports IMAP, if the server is
configured with the proper add-ons. If this is the case, you can enjoy
full access to your mail in href="http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/thunderbird/">Thunderbird or
Without Outlook you can still keep up with your schedule with an AIR app called Lineup. This app connects to your company’s Exchange web access server and pulls down your events for today (or any other day selected in the application). In only has a daily view, but I think you’ll agree it looks much better that Outlook and does support notifications.
As mentioned above, Outlook Web Access and syncing with Entourage would also give you calendar access.
The ultimate in at-home productivity is full access to your work PC. Microsoft just updated its Remote Desktop client for Mac with features like remote printing.
Remote Desktop is a protocol build in to Windows for efficient remote access to the full GUI of the remote machine. It will require you to have TCP/IP access to your PC via VPN.
Alternatives: Many companies use Citrix to run Windows application servers. There is a free client for Mac you can find here. There is also the free LogMeIn service – but be sure first that your company is okay with you using a 3rd party service.
Now you have the tools, its time to propose that 4 day work week to your boss. Good luck!