The Next Work Environment Competition: Shortlist of Finalists

Hundreds of entries later, our jurors have narrowed the field to the following shortlist of finalists in our first-ever Next Work Environment Competition. Across all seven categories, a broad range of creative solutions came in from around the globe and we’re excited to share this sneak peek with you below.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to be the first to know the winners!

Building Amenities

Our three finalists explore how wellness can be incorporated into building design, what kind of places and spaces can create a healthier environment for both body and mind and finding ways to keep people moving throughout the day to vary their workplace experience.

Finalists are: SERA Architects, Washington State University, Stantec

Collaboration Spaces

Bringing people together in person, after extended periods of working virtually is a key goal of companies bringing people back to the office. Our entrants looked at how to do this safely and with new social distancing protocols in place. We can predict that advanced technology and making physical changes to many building elements will inform the spaces that will be retrofitted for “the new normal”. We were excited to see how many design elements can be utilized to make this happen. The three finalists show concrete examples of how everything from how we enter the building and share a meeting room can be changed up to meet the developing new design standards.

Finalists are: Iowa St + Penn St, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Markus Brown


We see lots of articles about how this work mode will evolve. While nobody can predict the future, our hunch is that coworking will come back and evolve as a viable workplace solution. Our finalists explore how to make the physical changes to accommodate multiple workers, different companies and all the support features that make coworking places desirable for both enterprise users and gig workers. 

Finalists are: Hendrick, KKT Architects, Unispace

New Change Management Process

How to make the many changes that will necessitate making the workplace both safe and functional are critical to making “what’s next” possible. Making sure employees know and understand how and why changes will be made are going to be key to the successful reintegration of workers into their updated and retrofitted offices. The two finalists in this category came forward with  . . .

Finalists are: HOK, HGA Architects & Engineers

Work from Home

We are all experts on this topic and have adjusted. As we see that working from home is going to be more accepted as part of an overall workplace strategy, managing how people work from home is going to move from an ad hoc temporary situation, to an issue employers and employees will have to manage more thoughtfully as they make changes at home to manage their work in an environment that is functional and productive. We fully expect you to want to order the ideas from any of the three finalists in this category.

Finalists are: casetur mechanism GmbH, Team TWO, Watson Furniture Group


Re-thinking how our offices will be furnished is a considerable factor in planning for the next iteration of workplace. Companies already have significant investments in furnishings. The past few years have shown a complete departure from the traditional desk, chair, credenza private office, to more open and varied spaces and the insertion of “resimercial” furniture solutions as a major part of many new and renovated workspaces. The submissions in this category looked at how furniture design may change as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic with the configurability to become long-term solutions.

Finalists are: Teknion, Watson Furniture Group, DOVAT Arquitectos

Workspaces 3000 SF

We wanted to see how designers and design students would approach the overall design of an office space. Our smaller office footprint challenge was met with some very thoughtful solutions. We are looking forward to seeing how these ideas migrate into new spaces that we can feature in upcoming Work Design project profiles!

Finalists are: 3g Office, Wolcott Architecture, SERA Architects, Team: The Chosen Ones

Tune in later this week when we announce the winners! And stay with us a bit longer as we plan to push the envelop even further – details coming soon.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to be the first to know the winners!

A special thank you to our sponsors: 

Adapting the Open Workplace: Safe and Separate with a higher level of acoustic comfort
The first and only disinfectable fabric approved by the EPA
Crafting the Now, Near, & Next 
Written By
More from Michelle Weiss

Let’s Help Amazon select HQ2!

Attention workplace guru! We want to know what you think about Amazon's...
Read More
More from Elise Shapiro

Mohawk to Debut New Luxury Vinyl Tile Line

Mohawk Group’s Design Studio takes a fresh look at Luxury Vinyl Tile....
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2022 Competition Partners