May 23, 2017
Participants in a new competition to define the ‘office of the future’ will be asked to consider ‘what it will look like, and how it will support the way we will work’ by the British Council for Offices (BCO). The free-to-enter competition is seeking ‘forward-thinking and innovative responses, challenging the conventionalities of today’s workplaces and anticipating future needs’. The BCO hopes that the NextGen programme will allow it to ‘mentor the next generation of professionals – designers, agents, developers, consultants and others – and provides a platform for emerging talent to share their ideas’. The announcement cites social, economic, cultural and technological factors as the main agents of change, leading to changes in the expectations of employers and workers. It suggests that ‘ubiquitous and instantaneous technology; a growing interest in health and wellbeing; a greater desire for organisational flexibility; and an increased awareness of individual’s needs are now all competing factors within the workplace’.
Teams of between two and four members are invited to enter the competition. Individuals are also encouraged to register, and will receive the support of the BCO to form teams. Each team must contain a minimum number of BCO members with full details available on the BCO NextGen website.
Competitors will need to submit a 15-20 page report, including at least 10 images, graphics and diagrams and with additional media (including a five minute video) encouraged. The deadline for entry to the competition is Friday 6 October 2017.
During the competition period, teams will be invited to participate in ‘hackathons’ led by industry figures, and will be offered the opportunity to receive one-on-one mentoring and advice from an expert in a relevant field. A number of regional launch events are planned for the coming weeks, to promote the competition to young professionals throughout the UK. Entries will be judged by a panel drawn from a range of disciplines. The winning and highly commended teams will be announced at the BCO NextGen Awards Dinner on Wednesday 15 November.
The competition’s first prize is an invitation for the winning team to attend the 2018 BCO Conference in Berlin, including tickets to all conference events, flights from the UK only, hotel accommodation, and a financial contribution towards transfers and subsistence. The runner-up team will receive an invitation to an exclusive private dinner hosted by two key industry figures.