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Posts Tagged ‘Remote Web Access’

Working on Vacation…Yet Again

A couple weeks ago, the kids and I went to Universal Studios in Florida (painful with the current exchange rate) for the week. Before we left I decided I wasn’t going to actively work for the whole week, but with todays technology it was too easy to keep up.

I pro-actively decided to leave my work laptop at home, and only took my 8 inch Dell Venue Pro (runs full Office) and a Bluetooth keyboard. I also had my Nokia 920, which is my personal/work phone and has an awesome camera. My daughter took her tablet and Galaxy S3 and my son took his tablet. I really did set out to have a work-free vacation, but I knew I would have Wi-Fi at the hotel and I added a “roaming” plan to my phone. I did let people at the office know that I would be checking email in the evenings and would respond to important email. Best intentions.

Family Vacation

Ahhh!

At Universal Studios, Wi-Fi was available – and faster than the hotels. I could stand in the long lines waiting for an awesome ride (and the rides were freaking awesome), and review some of the 200+ emails that came in during the week. Thursday, our last full day in Florida, we hung out at the hotel, and my daughter grabbed the Bluetooth keyboard and worked on her 1000 word essay on her phone, and was in contact with her teachers and classmates. Watching her made me think about all the emails I could take off the agenda efficiently, and I started sorting through the emails and responding to them on my tablet. Because I have full Office and OneDrive, I easily accessed required files to edit, send, or reference during a conference call.

I know some of you are thinking “you were on vacation, why were you working?” This was my choice; I love my job and what I do, and honestly by Thursday, I was bored. This isn’t the first time I have worked on vacation, and I blogged about a similar vacation experience a couple of years ago, but what struck me this time was just how much easier despite being in another country. Back in the day, when I vacationed locally, I would tether to my phone or use my data plan. If I travelled out of the country, I would not use my phone plan this time, as Wi-Fi was abundant and fast everywhere.

Does this mean I think everyone should work on vacation? Absolutely not!  Vacation is time for family and re-charging, but if you feel you have to work or opt to (as I did), todays technology has everything you need to work efficiently and effectively.

If you are like me and find it really hard not to work, there are now resorts that take your devices away from you for the duration of your stay. Here’s a list for the USA. Personally, I think it’s all about balance and that balance will  be different for each of us.

Are you able to disconnect for a weekend, let alone a full week? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Categories: Digital Life Tags: ,

How To Work In Your Jammies On Snow Days (Canadian, eh?)

I was sitting in my jammies earlier today, watching the snowstorm with my coffee, when a client called me. She was unable to go to her workplace because of the treacherous road conditions, but she didn’t want that to keep her from working. She told me, “Sharon, I want to be able to work from home. I know you set up that type of functionality a while ago on the new business server, could you help me get connected to it?” “Of course”, I replied, and five minutes later, she was connected to her office desktop through her home computer.

Last fall, I upgraded this client to Small Business Server 2011 Standard, as well as many other additional technical improvements. I love the SBS servers; and with their large variety of features, they’re a great solution for small businesses.

The feature this client called me about is Remote Web Access (or Anywhere Access, as it’s now referred to in Microsoft’s latest server operating system), and it allows users to securely access in-house resources using any web browser. This means you can seamlessly work from anywhere with an Internet connection the same way you would at your workplace.

Here’s a quick overview on what Remote Web Access looks like:

rwa-blanked

Your users can easily connect to your server by entering a designated web address into their web browser. They will then be presented with a very simple log-in screen, as seen above.

RWA Web - blanked

Once successfully authenticated, the user can connect to any of the resources he/she has permission to access; whether it’s shared folders on a server, desktop or (depending on the version of SBS installed) the internal SharePoint site.

Shared Folders - blanked

Users can upload and download files as necessary, depending on their access rights. In the picture above, the account is an administrative one, and has access to all folders and computers.

As a bonus, I can remotely support businesses using Remote Web Access and Remote Desktop; which allows me to address issues without having to physically be on-site, reducing the business’s downtime. Remote Web Access is just one solution to allow your team members to work remotely. Talk to your certified IT professional about what solution will best meet your team’s needs.

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