Java applets wont load in Safari and constantly crash in Firefox

I have to use Java Applets to work from home. I normally use Firefox as my browser but since the last Java update Forefox keeps crashing. I have tried Safari too and it wont load the applets at all. I am desperate to get some work done but I can't get into my work files that are stored on my office's servers.
I have seen lots of discussion about enabling java etc. in my browser and all of that has been done.

Make sure your Java system is updated on both sides (home and work computers).
As an alternative, you might look into a non-Java VPN solution. I use RealVNC (free for up to 5 computers) to work from home on my Macs and connetc to WinXP and Win7 systems at work. It works beautifully and I can connect to all 4 work systems simultaniously! The only thing the free version won't do is print remotely... so I print to PDF in my Dropbox and print that at home.
For VPN, I use a Cisco RV042 4 port router (about $90 at BestBuy) and connect via the built in OS X VPN in the Network Preferences panel. It literally took less than 5 minutes to set up. Sweet, simple, minimal cost and setup, and I can work from the house 24/7 if needed.