Wifi Worries

After much deliberating my husband has finally allowed me to set up wireless at home. (I’m not under the thumb honest….I let him make all the technology decisions…it’s his little treat!)

Probably the main reason he has let me do it is to save on heating costs. The plan is that when it’s really cold I’ll work in the warmer south facing rooms. I’m not quite sure if the savings will be substantial (at the moment I have a PC and a laptop plugged in so am using more electricity) but in the summer I’ll be able to get outside to work which will be great.

So what’s it like then? Well although it is great here are a few not so great observations I’ve made in the past hour:

Security Issues

I’m a little concerned about security. My feeling is that I’m not as secure as I would be if I were working from my desk (albeit in the same house) or my office. You need to log on to the wireless connection but is that enough? Badly secured wireless connections mean any one can use the account. To access the University network I use Virtual Private Network (VPN) so that’s one step in the right direction. I’m going to take my laptop in to the office on Monday and make sure that all my security software is up to date.

The Demon blog suggests issuing a simple set of ‘do’s and don’ts of remote working. This makes sense. Although we have a number of policies relating to the contractual elements of remote working we don’t have much user focused information. I think I’ll suggest this to my IT services team.

Connection Issues

The connection is definitely a lot flakier. It takes me longer to open messages and view pages on the Internet. If I wanted to download anything I think I’d go upstairs to do it.

Health issues

What about health? Some people have claimed that the electro-magnetic waves are dangerous, especially for children. I tend to turn everything off when I’m not using the PC, including the router/broadband connection. Does this sort out the problem?

Ho hum…

On my lunchtime walk into town I noticed that a nearby pub (The Tavern) is having a refurbishment and announces that it will be offering coffee and free wifi when it reopens next week. I live in a pretty small town so this is exciting stuff. I guess there will be even more issues working from there, but I’m looking forward to checking it out!

Staying Connected: Technologies Supporting Remote Workers


I have just had an article published in the latest edition of Ariadne. The article looks at the technologies that support remote working, from broadband to Web 2.0 social networking tools. It covers:

  • What Do Home Workers Want?
  • Connecting – Broadband, Virtual Private Network, Wireless
  • Communication Technologies – E-mail, Telephony, Voice over Internet Protocol, Virtual Meetings, Online Chat, File Transfer, Blogs
  • Collaboration Technologies – Wikis, Shared Applications, Project Management
  • Social Networking
  • Technical Support – Security Technologies
  • Case Studies
  • Putting It All Together

It is an introductory piece, so if you are interested in any particular areas you will need to delve deeper, or follow the blog, but hopefully it will offer a starter for 10 for people who have just become, or are thinking about becoming, remote workers.