Enter the 2023 Next Work Environment Competition

Submissions are now closed – winners to be announced Thursday, August 31st here!

The Next Work Environment Competition is a transformative opportunity to shape the future of work environments. We invite creative minds from around the world to share their ideas. As we strive to create workspaces and experiences that inspire, nurture, and empower individuals, we offer an extraordinary incentive: the chance to make a profound impact on people’s lives.

As workplace culture and design continues to shift, the world is desperate for a new standard. Many leaders are still frequently reverting to the past, while others are grasping for the latest trends without considering if they make sense for their specific organization.

Imagine a work environment where employees thrive, their full potential is unleashed, and collaboration and innovation flourishes. This is your chance to create and support that space while inspiring greatness, enhancing well-being, and enabling the best work.

You can redefine what’s possible. The 2023 Next Work Environment Competition is your chance to submit your visionary ideas that will define the path forward for the future of work.

Are you ready to seize this opportunity?


Announcing the 2023 Categories:

Human Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing

In recent years we have seen a steady decrease in the physical and mental wellbeing of the global population. For many organizations, the number one concern at present is the health, safety and well-being of their staff and creating safe work environments that addresses physical, emotional and cognitive health. The goal is to create spaces that enable individuals to thrive and perhaps even help employees leave a place better than when they arrived? Propose a concept or completed idea that supports employee health, wellbeing and sense of comfort, happiness, security and safety at their place of work.

Office Building

With the rise of remote work and coworking, many are questioning “what is the purpose of the office?” Many are thinking about how we can create buildings as magnets, address fast approaching sustainability targets, and potentially repurpose or adapt for other uses. Share a concept or completed idea that envisions the future of office buildings workforce.and how they might serve the workforce but also be repurposed. Concepts can include strategies, workspace, amenities, urban planning, experiences, adaptive reuse, enhanced sustainability and other solutions that relate to the future of office buildings.

Return to Office

Share a concept or completed idea that inspires returns to the shared spaces while fostering a positive engagement, professional development, building social capital and reinforcing culture. Strategies could include physical elements, design concepts, policies or programs.

Furniture, Flooring, & Textiles

At the office, at your home, or anywhere in between. We’re looking to inspire a new generation of solutions that not only enhances physical comfort and is aesthetically pleasing, but also nurtures wellness and is good for the planet. New offerings, prototypes and groundbreaking designs are welcome.

Experimental Shared Experiences

Do you have an idea or design that transcends conventional boundaries and embraces bolder thinking or ideas that balances innovation while eschewing economic considerations? Whether your concept resides in a bustling urban setting, a serene natural environment, or an unexplored frontier, we encourage you to push the boundaries and create transformative spaces that ignite creativity, collaboration, and fulfillment.

Hybrid Work Environments

How, when and where we work has changed forever. As the physical realm meets the virtual one, we have an opportunity to fundamentally rethink work. This category seeks to highlight cutting-edge technology, forward-thinking policies, transformative designs or other pragmatic approaches that seamlessly integrate remote work and shared office environments, creating solutions that adapt to the evolving needs of individuals and modern work dynamics.

Pick A Problem

This category is wide open and empowers individuals and teams to tackle the pressing challenges posed by rapidly evolving work environments. Choose a problem you wish to solve with the ultimate goal of fostering success for individuals, teams and organizations.

Greatest Impact Award

By entering into any category, you are already in the running for this award. Our jury members will nominate their favorite submissions from all entry categories they judged. This award is to recognize general excellence for the one idea with the greatest potential for positive impact.

Feeling inspired? Check out our 2022 winners here!

Who’s Eligible?

The competition is open to all creative thinkers of any race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, level of expertise, profession and religious or political beliefs worldwide. Anyone may enter!

You can participate as an individual or a team of up to six individuals. Teams with a diverse composition and cross-design/practice area/discipline, are strongly encouraged.

Judging Criteria

Our esteemed Jury may recognize students, work for clients, and futuristic ideas (theoretical work) across all categories. They may also recognize any submission for any reason that demonstrates uncommon thinking, exceptional innovation and that stands out amongst others.

Why Enter?

You have a chance to positively impact how work gets done. And just for entering, you’ll be added to the list of Future Shapers including your organization, educational institution, or individual name (with your permission).

Winning ideas will be celebrated the entire month of September 2023 and beyond through custom articles on workdesign.com. You’ll also receive a digital pack to share news of your win on LinkedIn. Plus student winners are eligible for scholarships courtesy of Tango. New this year, the Greatest Impact Award winner will receive an extra award.

Where are they now? Check out past winner updates here!

Each submission should include:

  • Your contact information including name(s), address, phone number, and email.
  • Students must include the name of their educational institution and their graduation year.
  • A name for your solution and if it was done as a client project or is theoretical.
  • A description of specific project or solutions (500-words max).
  • If entering a theoretical submission, please be sure to remove your name, team, or design/architectural firm or company name from the images.
  • Supporting images (up to 10 images max). You have complete discretion on the number, format and choice of visuals submitted. Sketches, plans, axonometric or perspective renderings, photographs, images of 3D models, etc. may be used to convey the specifics of your design.
  • All images must be submitted in JPEG format.
  • Optional video, TikTok, Instagram Reel, or other animation (linked to submission, 30 seconds preferred • 3-minutes max).
  • In the interest of publishing as many winning entries as possible, all submissions become property of Work Design Magazine. See more details here.

The same submission can be entered in multiple categories. 

The Deadline to Submit has passed.

Join us for the live reveal on the Workplace Innovator Podcast on Thursday August 31st at noon EST.

The 2023 Jury invites are out. Here’s who is in:

Pricing Per Submission:


  • Individual Submission: $25
  • Team Submission (up to 6 members): $50


  • Individual Submission: $100
  • Team Submission (up to 6 members): $500

NOTE: One idea can be submitted in up to three categories for a small increase in price. See FAQs for details.

Have a question?

Check Out Our FAQs!

Special thanks to our 2023 Innovative Brand Partners:

Special thanks to our 2023 Market Partners: