By Sinclaire Sparkman The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The popularity of co-working is even finding its way into smaller communities. Many small business entrepreneurs find "co-working" a great way to avoid the distractions and or loneliness of working from home.
The Lebanon Democrat, Tenn.
The Mill in Lebanon recently became home to Wilson County's first coworking space.
Create Coworking was started by Parker Agee, a software engineer for Emma, a tech company in Nashville. Agee works remotely for Emma, and decided that, instead of bouncing around from coffee shop to coffee shop, he would like to make a space for himself and other professionals to have a place to do their work.
Aimed for freelancers and other work-from-home professionals, a coworking space is an open, shared workspace that allows users to get away from distractions at home without being "that guy (or girl)" in the coffee shop every day.
These kinds of places are common in urban areas, and there's one in Murfreesboro, but Create Coworking is the first of its kind in Wilson County.
"If you're a freelancer in the web development world then you can get your salesperson in there, meet a designer, meet somebody that needs a website. It's really a kind of community that, as a whole, benefits everybody," Agee said.
Agee and his wife moved to Lebanon from Memphis a little over two years ago. He said he chose Lebanon because the commute into Nashville seemed to be the easiest considering the traffic on I-40 is lighter compared to I-24 and I-65, but working remotely means that he doesn't often have to make that trip.
Agee spent many of his work days at Starbucks, but said that, after awhile it starts to feel awkward being at the same place everyday, and also expensive, so he started trying out different coffee shops in Mt. Juliet and Gallatin before deciding that the best thing to do was start his own coworking space.
He looked at a number of places, including the square, which wasn't appealing to him for lack of parking. Finally, Agee settled on setting up in The Mill.
"This was one of the last places we checked. I thought it was the perfect place for starting out," Agee said.
Agee comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. His grandfather served in the Marines for 22 years, but also had side projects going on as well. When he retired from the Marines he moved to Memphis and started his own real estate company.
"So he kind of started the entrepreneurial bug in us," Agee said. "My dad had his own real estate title business in Memphis. I've caught on to it. I don't do any real estate, but I've always though about getting my real estate license, especially in the Nashville area."
A membership to Create Coworking includes access to WiFi, refreshments and a quiet place to get things done. It's located upstairs at The Mill. The space is open with a couple of couches, pub tables, and tall tables with stools. There are also what Agee calls dedicated desks. There are three of them within the space. They face out the window and are desks with lockable drawers and the capability of connecting a landline phone. A student membership is also available at a discounted price.