I'm sitting here in Canada trying to work for my employer back in the US for a month. It's been a few weeks already, and I'm surprisingly pleased (or pleasantly surprised) with how well it's working. At the same time, certain aspects of this rather suck.
One huge obstacle so far is (of course) Windows. Aside from the Linux server that I convinced IT to let me run out of a closet, the whole place is Microsoft. Whatever MS VPN software we're using is slow, clunky, unreliable, and generally annoying.
At one point I tried to fetch a file from a network drive and watched it download at 0.2 k/sec. Then I had someone back home copy it onto my Linux box, and I downloaded from there at 120 k/sec. The Windows and Linux servers are in the same room in the same building behind the same network connection; I don't understand how VPN overhead slowed things down by that many orders of magnitude.
After connecting to VPN, there's about a 25% chance that Outlook will be able to connect to the Exchange server at work. Generally I have to fire up the VPN, turn it off, turn it on, turn it off, turn it on and then Outlook will find it. Sometimes I close Outlook, but it lives on as a zombie, futilely hammering away at the server but unable to find it, until I CTRL-ALT-DEL and kill it. This is with Office 2007.
But the work I do on the Linux server is (of course) easy. No problems whatsoever. Working over SSH is how I did things when I was sitting in my office anyways. I tunnel in and use local GUI SQL clients. I put VirtualBox on my laptop and I do a bunch of stuff in a Linux VM and rsync it back home with no problems. I can edit files over SSH right in Emacs as if they were on my local box, if I care to.
Sometimes I wonder if my dislike of Microsoft is irrational. Any belief that is caused by or results in a strong emotional response should be subject to questioning. Then reality comes waltzing by and reminds me that no, MS software really does suck.
I've worked for this company for over two years before moving. I don't know how well I'd be doing if this was a company I just started with. It's hard to see how important face-to-face communication is until it's impossible. Email is OK, but the benefit of knowing people in person and knowing how they talk and how they think really goes a long way to being able to interpret and understand plaintext communication.