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The biggest barriers to home working. Surprise! It’s your ISP!

Posted by Debby Penton on 14th January 2010

At times of extreme weather and travel disruption, the issue of remote working for business owners and workers alike jumps to the forefront of our minds.

GMTV are touting the stat that £600m per day is being lost by the disruption to UK business due to the snow. And research that Wildfire is promoting this week on behalf of our client Citrix GoToMyPC, highlights that while 78% of small and medium-sized business thought they were prepared for the snow, 57% have still suffered.

No one can argue that we don’t have the technology to enable remote working these days. VPNs, smartphones, Webmail, remote access software are all widely available.

So what’s the problem?

Well, it’s often largely down to the culture of the business you work for and the still present lack of trust in employees to actually be productive when bosses aren’t there to keep an eye on them. Or perhaps concerns about security and sensitive data. But until today I wouldn’t have even thought that the ISPs themselves would get in the way of effective homeworking, as the internet is the key enabler of the shift to more flexible working.

But not Sky it seems. After a lot of deliberation, I bundled all my home communications with Sky at the end of last year, and since then have been puzzled why I can’t get access to my VPN, so have struggled through with Webmail. But today I discovered that Sky maintains its service is solely for domestic use and therefore blocks all VPN ports.


For someone who is juggling raising a family with running a business, working from home is an absolute must, so clearly I will not be letting this matter rest. My IT guy is looking for a way round it and today I will be trialing GoToMyPC for Mac (which launches today) and hopefully getting some work done.

picture credit

Debby Penton

Motivated, competitive and highly experienced, Debby drives excellence across the agency and leads by example, going the extra mile to create stand-out campaigns and a dynamic agency culture. As CEO, Debby champions a new breed of PR that meets the evolving communication needs of today’s tech companies.