Winner of Digital Workplace of the Year 2021 – Adobe

23 December 2021 by

DWG is pleased to announce that the 2021 winner of Digital Workplace of the Year is Adobe, as revealed by DWG Director of Research, Elizabeth Marsh,  in a special episode of Digital Workplace Live on December 7.

Now in their fifth year, the awards are produced by DWG and celebrate organizations and practitioners that have excelled in creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments.

Winners of the Digital Workplace of the Year award excel across the board, with ambitious strategies, robust governance, features that sizzle, deep engagement with users, and business outcomes that impress. The bar has been set high by winners over the last five years (as you can see in our Hall of Fame) and the class of 2021 did not disappoint. Following the deliberations of our panel of independent judges , this year Adobe lifted the main award for its work on the Adobe Life app that is powering the hybrid work experience for employees.

Commenting on the award in the DW Live special awards episode, Elizabeth Marsh said: “So many aspects of Adobe’s entry set them apart this year: from the deep engagement with users, cross-functional governance, to the consumer-grade experience of the Adobe Life app. While other organizations were still deliberating on how to digitally enable hybrid workers, Adobe pivoted fast and really seized the moment, delivering key services in a seamless experience. This is exciting work in our industry which acknowledges that the future of work is hybrid.”

Creativity, innovation, culture

With a fast pivot to make sure the digital workplace measures up for the challenging times in which we live, the Adobe digital workplace team imagined and delivered a new experience at the core of their digital workplace to help foster creativity, innovation and culture among employees.

Enter the Adobe Life app.

Launched in March 2021, the app was an immediate hit with our demanding panel of judges. One of them commented that it was a “great example of seizing the moment, of recognizing a key inflection point and, not just adapting, but pivoting to thrive”.

The app sports a comprehensive set of key services including campus features such as space booking and wayfinding, work anywhere features including news, podcasts and people directory, and return to the office forms and processes. It provides a new doorway to the digital workplace, complementing Adobe’s modern intranet – Inside Adobe – which already provides a powerful, personalized and accessible experience for employees.

The app has a strong underpinning governance framework, which includes senior, cross-functional stakeholder involvement and a clear hierarchy of decision-makers.

Hybrid is an opportunity not a compromise

With so many organizations scrambling to realize a new hybrid working approach, and many finding the reality falls short of expectations, Adobe has seized the opportunity with both hands. In the words of one judge: “I love the recognition that hybrid is not just a compromise, but a strategy unto itself.” It’s a message we think deserves broadcasting far and wide!

Research, persona studies and demo days all contributed to defining the strategy and adapting as the work situation evolved in order to deliver a seamless experience across both desktop and mobile.

With the Adobe Life app, Adobe is setting the tempo for the intricate dance of hybrid working in the endemic environment, making it (to quote again from another of our judges): “one of the few companies that pivoted quickly to allow for flexibility but also did it in a way that was consumer grade”.

Prioritizing employee wellbeing

In times of increased employee burnout and attrition, Adobe’s digital workplace programme stood out for putting employee wellbeing at its very heart. It takes a holistic view that enables employees to connect and work from wherever they want, providing parity of experience irrespective of location. As well as enabling employees to work in the way that suits them best, it fosters a culture that helps people thrive through rich wellbeing content covering both physical and mental wellbeing in a range of formats.

Launched at a company meeting earlier this year, the app garnered immediate praise and positivity from employees for its usefulness in staying productive, healthy and connected. Like the Inside Adobe intranet, it is built with the employee voice front and centre in order to create a seamless experience.

Toni Vanwinkle, Senior Director of Digital Workplace Experience at Adobe, commented on what it meant for the Adobe team to win the award: “Thank you so much, we really appreciate it and love to be a part of the Digital Workplace Group family. We are really excited about the app and how this helps our employees do their best work and how they can contribute to the content – a super exciting application and solution.”


The Digital Workplace of the Year Awards, produced by DWG, celebrate those organizations and practitioners who have excelled at creating well-executed, high-performing digital workplace environments.

The awards provide the perfect opportunity for you and your organization to share your digital workplace achievements with peers and to gain global, industry recognition!

The entry and judgement criteria for these awards are underpinned by the collective knowledge and experience of DWG research, benchmarking and expertise plus extensive industry insights.  The 2022 Awards will open on January 24 – perhaps your organization could be a winner. Look out on our website for entries opening.

Read these blogs to help you enter:


Categorised in: Digital Workplace of the Year Awards

Elizabeth Marsh

Director of Research

Elizabeth Marsh is DWG’s Director of Research and author of its latest report ‘Digital workplace overload: How to reduce employee technostress’ (available free on our website). She’s worked as a practitioner, researcher and consultant in the digital workplace field for over 20 years and is a strong advocate for digital literacy and digital wellbeing at work. Elizabeth is currently doing a PhD at the University of Nottingham focusing on employee technostress and the potential of mindfulness to help reduce it. She also co-authored – with Paul Miller – the book ‘The Digital Renaissance of Work: Delivering digital workplaces fit for the future’.

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