Rocky Mount considers co-working space as more people consider full time telework

A recent campaign advertising the Roanoke Valley for teleworking drew more than 45,000 clicks

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – Franklin County area leaders are looking to the future with a possible co-working space in Rocky Mount. More people are looking at work from home setups, and they would love them to leave the big city for our region.

Danielle White lives in rural Franklin County and spends nearly all of her time in her humble home office. She loves the setup but said it’s not always perfect.

“I’m an environmental consultant, I have worked from home for about six years now,” White said. “First and foremost the internet service and then when you have worked from home for an extended period of time sometimes it’s nice to get out of the house.”

White is part of a growing group of people leaving the office behind and working from home full time. Franklin County Economic Development Director Beth Simms said the Roanoke Regional Partnership recently ran a remote work marketing campaign that drew 45,000 clicks.

“We know that there are people who are looking to move from more dense areas to less dense areas, to more affordable areas and we think Franklin County is a great place to live and we’re trying to get a slice of that,” Simms said.

Earlier this week, Rocky Mount Town Council approved a request for proposals for a co-work space in town. It would be grant-funded and be housed in a county-owned building on Church Street next to the farmer’s market.

“We imagine it will be more like a co-working business incubator space, so there will be open-concept office space for people to just come in and use their laptops,” Simms said. “and we imagine that will be more of an affordable option, but then also private office space too.”

Simms said bottom line, new residents mean more revenue for the region. A group of teleworkers already meet at the local coffee shop, and White said they’re ready to be customers of the proposed space.

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