While many forces helped shaped the coworking phenomena, it largely arose to meet the needs of independent workers for flexible and affordable space. Today, coworking has matured beyond desks and free coffee; the best spaces include extensive networking, personal, and professional development opportunities. In fact, coworking has become so popular it even boasts its own industry journal — DeskMag.
With well over 2,000 coworking spaces throughout the world and new ones springing up daily, it is crucial for coworking founders to think doubly hard about what they will name their space. And while coworking names, like the spaces themselves, are all over the map, some clear trends have emerged.
Some coworking networks with multiple locations have built their brand on names that reference office or work but in a friendlier, more collaborative way. Examples of these include Office Nomads, Workbar, and WeWork. Spin offs on traditional concepts of “the office” are also prevalent in many names and taglines. Oficio, for instance, bills its space as “your home office, away from home” and The Grind, positions itself as “the antidote to offices.”
Work and play
The coworking ethos doesn’t subscribe to the notion of all work and no play. Sure work is hard, but it should also include creativity and imagination. Names like Sandbox Suites, The Yard, Secret Club, Freecandy, and Sunshine Suites suggest this fusion. More playful names like these are especially important if you are interested in attracting designers, writers, artists, bloggers, photographers, and others from the creative class.
Hives and hatcheries
Similarly, metaphorical names suggest a gathering of minds at work and places where ideas are birthed. The Hive in Philadelphia, a coworking space for self-made female entrepreneurs, cleverly boasts being “the first hive with more than one queen bee.” Hatch (formerly The Hatchery), links to the now familiar idea of the incubator and the Coop, a coworking space in Chicago, conjures up the image of egg laying hens.
Heritage and history
Using the existing elements of a street name, building number, or converted space can relay a back-to-basics attitude with a touch of modern charm. The Bakery, once a kosher bakery in Brooklyn, or The Livery, a converted horse barn in Kentucky, plus The Icehouse in New Orleans and Indy Hall in Philadelphia—a coworking space located near the famed Independence Hall—are examples of coworking spaces whose names honor the history of a place.
As the case for all industries, a good name can enhance a quality product or company, but it can’t save a bad one. Likewise, a bad name isn’t necessarily a smackdown for a strong brand. But pair an inspiring name with an aesthetically pleasing, well located, and amenities rich space and the challenge of enrolling members will become that much easier.