There are perks to a job and then there are perks to a job… and if you were mulling over applying for a position with Microsoft, you’ll probably be even more inclined to do so after hearing how the company has just finished building a workspace treehouse for its members of staff.
Apparently, this new meeting space requires people to head outside, make their way up a planked accessible ramp and through some wooden gates to reach a deck suspended by timber beams and cables… all built around a stunning Pacific Northwest Douglas fir.
The idea behind it is to help those working for the company take advantage of what nature has to offer and the benefits it can bring in terms of happiness, improved focus and greater creativity. And it looks as though Microsoft won’t be stopping here: the treehouses, created by Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters fame, form one part of a new system of technology-enabled outdoor places connected to nearby buildings to encourage people to find new ways in which to work.
The first treehouse to be built is 12ft off the ground, with a stunning round skylight so people can see the sky, a hand-carved arched double door and charred wood walls (which we’ve blogged about in the past and would be perfect for your own treehouses, if you’re looking for ideas right now).
Because Microsoft’s campus is set in the woods, it’s perhaps easier for them to enable their members of staff to work outside, whereas other companies may be restricted and only be able to create green indoor spaces that merely resemble the outside world. Microsoft has also been working towards increasing the opportunities for its workforce to connect to the environment while doing their jobs and without having to forgo the connectivity they enjoy when working in an actual office.
There’s a broad outdoor WiFi network so people can move around, all benches are waterproof and feature hatches with hidden electricity sources, the cafeteria extends outside with a barbecue restaurant built in a shipping container… it goes on and on.
Lead on the treehouse project Bret Boulter said: “We want to bring more human touch back into the workplace. For people to be the most productive and create the best products, we want them to have that opportunity for collaboration. Any employee can take their device outside, have a meeting – even in a treehouse – and be just as productive.”
So this should all have given you lots of great ideas for your own wooden structures, whether they’re for work or play. You should also check out our recent blog post about the latest design trends to help you come up with a few ideas for decorating – something you should perhaps factor in at the design stage of your house so you know you’ll achieve exactly what’s in your mind’s eye with no trouble at all.