Enter the 2022 Next Work Environment Competition





The Great Opportunity

As we emerge from the pandemic, there is no questioning that a lot has happened over the past two years. For most of us, the ground has shifted and the world has changed forever. Our priorities, health, social habits, and the way that we think about work is very different, as we become more aware of our mortality and reprioritize our lives.

The dust has not settled just yet. Organizations are currently seeking to find a new path forward. In this quest to find “What’s Next,” organizations are realizing that healthy, engaged and diverse employees offer more innovation and productivity.

Our work environments, on the other hand, have been slow to transform. There is no new standard. Leaders are still frequently reverting to the past – focusing on cost and efficiency numbers rather than increasing high-performing specialized environments with the support and tools necessary to enable their staff.

We now have an opportunity like never before to align our work environments with modern technology and our renewed emphasis on health and work-life balance. The future workplace must be designed to provide mutual benefit for all the stakeholders.

We are designers, problem solvers, and future shapers in a society that is looking for something that does not yet exist. The 2022 Next Work Environment Competition is the chance for you to explore your thoughts and ideas that will define the path forward for the future of work.

Are you ready to seize this opportunity?

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, within 48 hours of the deadline, we’ll publish and share 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 2022 and beyond through sharing individual and team ideas on workdesign.com.

NEW IN 2022!

Thanks to our partners, Tango, $500 scholarships will be awarded to Student Winners in each of the 10 categories!

Plus the student winner of the Greatest Impact Award pursuing any built-environment degree (ex. Business, Engineering, Facility Management, Real Estate, etc), will receive a $1500 scholarship to be presented in-person at an all expenses paid IFMA Foundation VIP experience at IFMA’s World Workplace in Nashville, September 26-30.

Scholarships Supported by:


Feeling inspired? Check out our inaugural 2021 winners here!





The Most Inclusive Workspace Challenge

Create an environment that is welcoming and attracts people from all backgrounds and cultures. A safe place that comfortably supports the fostering of sharing ideas and information by developing a sense of belonging. Include your ideas for how a workplace can celebrate individual differences, and stakeholders can authentically engage with equitable access and opportunity to openly and comfortably share new ideas, grow, and thrive while being supported by all.

The Wellbeing Challenge

Moving beyond step challenges, design a healthy work environment that supports the mental, physical, and emotional health of those who use it so they can build resilience, thrive, and perform their best – a place where people leave feeling refreshed and look forward to coming back.

Collaboration Space + Tools

The pace of technological change is accelerating and physical work environments must adapt to support all aspects of technology. Create a space that transcends AI, bots, the metaverse, etc., and incorporates the tools that we need to enable us to work together more effectively and efficiently.

Office Building

New office buildings are evolving to sustainably provide the amenities, features, and tools that provide for an attractive and collaborative community and enable more modern places to work. Create a building (or portion) for the future that sustainably supports our evolving workplaces and the variety of functions necessary to create a vibrant and attractive place for people to collaborate and work productively.

Work From Home

Working from home can be both pleasant and frustrating depending on the lives and living conditions of those who live at home and share the same space. Work from home environments can be complex and require unique support. Create a work from home environment that provides a healthy and productive space that supports the flexibility with minimized distractions.

Return to Office: Policies, Strategies, and Change Management

Getting people back into the office has been a challenge. Describe the policies, strategic plans, and any unique programs that provide a safe, enticing and inspirational way to attract people back. This should include any special work schedules, benefits, incentives, etc. that would be applied to people who return to the office.

Furniture, Flooring, and Textiles

Cool Products! Furniture, flooring and textiles can serve a variety of roles, but should support work and enhance our comfort and our productivity or collaboration. Create innovative solutions or prototypes that support a flexible work environment.


Designing a sustainable work environment sustains our planet and contributes to the health and wellbeing of those who use it. We’re looking for options for workplaces that are net-zero (even net positive), carbon-neutral, energy-efficient, include sustainable materials, recycled products, and ultimately improve the quality of the environment.

Amenities and Experiences 

Successful work environments depend on great experiences and need to provide the support and amenities that create a safe, healthy, attractive, and comfortable place for people to be productive. Create an innovative common space for a team or an organization that provides the necessary support and positive experience that will attract employees back from home.

Flex-Work / Coworking

Flexible workspaces are increasing in demand, variety, and users. Design an innovative, flexible workspace that serves as a community, where networking and collaboration are valuable. Your design should include innovative functions, amenities, and remote work services, part-time work, meetings, functions, and lifestyle needs.


Other Award Categories:

Instagram Reel & TikTok Challenge

In a 30 seconds or less answer: What’s your ideal workspace? Or what attracts you to the office? Or take us through a day in the life of your ideal work environment.

Thanks to our friends at:

The winner of this category will receive a custom Bernadette Bean Bag Lounger Chair and Ottoman!

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 for this award. This general excellence award is for the one idea with the greatest potential for positive impact.

New to the World Solutions

What kind of innovations or non-traditional products, elements, or services will attract people and enhance our work? As we move into the future, what new physical or functional needs, services or technology will be desirable to have in our work environments?

Each submission should include:

  • Your contact information including name(s), address, phone number, and email.
  • Students must include 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).
  • Please be sure to remove your name, team, or design/architectural firm name from the images – any visible branding will be subject to disqualification.
  • 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 and must be logo-free.
  • 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 2022 Jury invites are out. Here’s who is in:

Special thanks to our technology partners: Survature and Spacetrics

Pricing Per Submission:

Students, Unemployed, Retired

  • 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 more questions? Check out our FAQs.



Special thanks to our 2022 Innovative Brand Partners:


Special thanks to our NEW 2022 Scholarship Sponsor:


Thank you to our 2022 Market Partners:

Workplace Evolutionaries (WE) • Allwork.SpaceIFMA FoundationASIDACTCIDQBIFMAGCUC

Share this news!