How can I access my work email from home?

"I'm going to be out of the office for a few days, but I need to check my email. Is there any way I can access my work email from home?"

Whether you can access your work email from home depends on a number of factors. If you work for a large company, the IT department may have rules (and a solution) for accessing your email outside the corporate network. At a small company with no IT department, the limiting factor may be the ability of the people who help you with email service. Either way there should be some way you can get work email at home without too much difficulty.

Getting company email at home for big corporation employees
If you work for a big company, the easiest way to find out the protocol around getting email at home is to ask the IT team. I know those guys aren't always the most helpful and generally sound completely annoyed when you ask them anything, but they are the keepers of the keys in this case. If you use Outlook for your email at the office, ask them if they have Outlook Web Access (OWA) available for people who need to check email away from their desk. If the company uses Lotus Notes for email, ask if they have Lotus Mobile Connect as an option for people outside the office. You may also need to ask for VPN access instead.

If none of those options work, you may still be able to monitor your email from home. The easiest thing to do may be to setup email forwarding from your work inbox to your home email address. Each program has slightly different steps for doing this, but forwarding your email is definitely one way to get the email to your home computer. Keep in mind that depending on which email service you use at home, replying to those emails from your home computer might show people what your home email address is. If you use Gmail at home, it has a handy feature that lets you reply to messages with the reply to address being your original address. To set this, in Gmail, click the link to Settings in the top corner, click Accounts, and configure your work address.