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How Virtual Offices Work

        Money | Work Life

But where will you do your work?

Technically, your office is wherever you are. With the technology currently available, you can conduct business from almost anywhere. Your office could be in your home, in your car, in the airport, on the beach, or even on a mountaintop. In typical situations, your office will be based in your home regardless of whether you travel or not. If this is the case then you need to have a good setup. This includes a quiet location away from the distractions that being at home will always have. These include the refrigerator, TV, children, lawn work, dishes in the sink... you name it. It can be a distraction.

If you want to make it work, you have to have discipline and you have to make your office a designated work space -- even if it is in your bedroom or the kitchen. Put it in a place where you like to be. If your basement is dark and dreary, it's likely you're not going to enjoy working there. Bottom line... use the room that will be most conducive to getting work done.

First impressions mean a lot

But, what about your business address? If you're running a business from your home, you probably don't want your home address used as the business address. Depending on the type of business it is, it may just not give the impression you need. In this case, you have a two options. You can rent a post office box, or you can use a CMRA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency) mailbox service that gives you a corporate-sounding address and a suite number.

Each option has the drawback of requiring you to go somewhere else to get your mail (although there may be services that will deliver your mail to you). Post office boxes have the additional drawback of not allowing you to receive packages because couriers won't deliver to a P.O. box. If you use a service that gives your business a suite number (actually, just another name for a box number), you can receive packages. You also have 24-hour access and can request notification when a package has arrived.

Visit How Setting Up a Home Office Works for additional tips and information about setting up your home office. Next, we'll talk about the equipment and furnishings you'll need to help your virtual office function just as efficiently as a traditional office space.