When a site proposal reaches 45% commitment, it undergoes a series of checks to ensure that it's ready to move on as-is. It eliminates the last-minute gotcha issues that can prevent a site from going into private beta even though it's 100% committed.
During this check, Robert (along with the rest of the Community Team, and with help from CHAOS) put a lot of time and effort into researching good names and descriptions for this proposal. Many were considered, and keeping
Professional Matters was among the options. To make a long story short, though, here was the argument that won the day:
When you scroll down the Stack Exchange list of sites, the name of each site is a clear and direct description of its subject matter. (Stack Overflow, Super User, and Server Fault are the exceptions; we must give them a pass by dint of their being the Trilogy and therefore largely untouchable.) Drupal Answers is where you go for Drupal answers; Quantitative Finance is a site about quantitative finance. Someone who is brand new to the Stack Exchange network who's wondering whether or not there's a site for them can scroll down that list and know immediately what the basic topic of each site is and whether or not it's something they're interested in.
Professional Matters doesn't really fit in that structure. It isn't something people immediately understand. It's very clever with its second meaning about how professionalism matters, but in that cleverness we lose clarity and directness about what the site's topic actually is. "Professional matters" just isn't a clear enough topic.
For example: If I'm a professional skateboarder and chef, then questions about skateboarding and cooking are part of my profession, and I might want to ask them on
professionalmatters.stackexchange.com. These questions would be off topic for the site we're trying to create, even though I am a professional and those subjects are part of my profession.
The Workplace is clear. It says that the site is about questions that you have about the environment in which you work, even if that environment is a kitchen or a skate park. It's not about what the content of your job is - cooking, skateboarding, programming, goatherding - but about how you navigate the setting in which you work.
We believe that this is more readily comprehensible to users unfamiliar with the site. When a new user scrolls down the list, they will see
The Workplace and understand that this site is not for questions about what they do, but rather for questions about the environment in which they work.