How Can I Check My Work Email From Home

The question, "how can I check my work email from home?" is a popular one. For better or for worse, it is easy to access your work from anywhere. All you need to do is consult your IT department and let them know if you will be accessing e-mail from public computers or keeping your laptop with you on your travels. Here are several options that will keep you in touch, plus tips for worker bees who are on the road:

Sign Up For Webmail: Most employers offer a way for you to access your email via a Web browser instead of your desktop application. Ask your IT professional if this is possible. In order to do this, you'll need the URL for the online e-mail, plus your username and password. Typically, the username and password matches the one you use when you access your computer, but find out from the IT department if you need to modify your username and password in any way when you first log on. Be sure to bookmark the URL or save it to your Web bookmarks, like Google bookmarks, because these URLs tend to be long and tough to remember.

Request Remote Access: If you have a truly important project that cannot be ignored while you are out of the office, ask the IT department for VPN access on your personal laptop. Once the IT department sets up the program on your personal and your work computer, you can use your personal computer to log in to your work computer and access files, including email. Obviously, Webmail is a much simpler solution, but VPN can come in handy for the larger files and tasks.

Remember Your Boundaries: Just because you are checking e-mail on your vacation so you can stay on top of the news doesn't mean you can act on everything. Let everyone on your team know how much they can expect of you while you are gone. For example, you can say that you will be available in case of emergency, but you'd rather not be bothered otherwise.

A Note About Security: If you share your computer with anyone, whether it be roommates or family members, be sure to sign out of your office Webmail and clear the cache so you can protect your privacy.

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