As a home worker, two new features in Windows 7 look promising. DirectAccess and BranchCache will improve the lot of homeworkers by making it easier for them to connect to and access work networks.
DirectAccess utilises IPv6-over-IPsec to encrypt comms over the internet between remote workers and the DirectAccess server. This will provide an alternative to VPNs i.e. remove the need for annoying authentication keyfobs/RSA SecurID tokens that have to be carried everywhere. To support DirectAccess Windows Server 2008 needs to be installed.
BranchCache overs the potential of being able to access large files stored on servers much faster. If one user at a branch or office downloads a file off a server, then it is cached on a BranchCache server. If any other users at that office request the same file, then it is downloaded from the cache rather than via the internet, which should be much faster.