What a difference a hyphen makes: Coworking vs. Co-working

Is it coworking or co-working? What a difference a hyphen makes! The hyphen debate has been an ongoing one since the beginning of the coworking movement. I am all for coworking, without the hyphen. In this post, I give you three practical reasons to ditch the hyphen.

Why use one word?

The use of a unified brand helps put the word out about the movement, and it’d be great for us all to use the same word, but hey, it’s a free world and each of us is free to call our businesses however we want, right!? Yups. In fact, coworking relates to many other community types that are called differently: Hackerspaces, fab labs, incubators, accelerators, business centers, and even shared flats could be considered, to a certain extent, coworking communities. We need to be able to embrace diversity, and at the same time be able to speak with one voice when it really matters (i.e. when talking with the media or the institutions).

Coworking space

But, is there any real difference between co-working and coworking?

Co-workers have been used over time to define anyone who works with another; a fellow worker. Skipping the hyphen helps differentiate the two words, as they don’t mean the same to us. Dictionaries and press manuals, as well as most auto-correctors, still only recognize the hyphenated version of the word. But if ‘güisqui’ made it to the dictionary as a Spanish version of ‘whiskey’ I don’t see a problem in trying to catch the attention of the pros.

Enough philosophy – can we get practical?

The topic of whether coworking has a hyphen has been discussed in a lot of different blogs and discussion boards. We usually get to them through google searches or social networks, like twitter or facebook. Have you noticed what happens when you try to use the #co-working hashtag on Twitter? Meh. It doesn’t work. Do we want to use a word that needs to be modified to be used in a big social media platform?

Trend as per Google Trends for searches using the terms coworking and co-working

Last, but not least, coworking is considerably more popular than co-working on Google searches. Using the right word will help keep your coworking space and your coworking related content well positioned.

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