Microsoft builds epic tree house office space for employees

PintFeed | Microsoft builds epic tree house office

THE biggest tech companies on the planet seem to be competing for who can build the coolest offices — and we have a new favourite.

FROM Apple’s new spaceship headquarters to Google’s massage rooms, nap pods and on-site doctor, day-to-day life can be pretty sweet working for some of the world’s most recognisable companies.
And Microsoft has arguably outdone them all by building every kid’s dream tree house.

The new office facility for Microsoft staff is an elaborate treetop meeting space at its corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The company recently revealed its new digs on its blog.

“To get to Microsoft’s most unexpected new meeting space, embark on a leisurely outdoor stroll up a planked, accessible switchback ramp. At the top, a secure wooden gate swings open to reveal a deck suspended by timber beams and cables,” the company wrote.

The tree house sits nearly four metres off the ground and boasts charred-wood walls and a soaring ceiling with a round skylight. Hand-carved arched double doors glide open with the swipe of an employee badge.

The tree house offices were built by Pete Nelson, who is the host of the series Treehouse Masters, which airs on the Discovery Channel in Australia.

According to Microsoft, the space is intended to help “employees benefit from what science shows is the powerful impact of nature on creativity, focus and happiness.”

And according to Bret Boulter, who helped head up the project, at first glance it appears to be working.
“The first thing when you walk into the space is that everyone is really quiet. You stop talking and are just present,” said Mr Boulter. “It’s fascinating. People absorb the environment, and it changes the perception of their work and how they can do it,” he said.

It’s true that the outdoors can have a positive impact on your mood.

Nature “stimulates reward neurons in your brain. It turns off the stress response, which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and improved immune response,” wrote Harvard physician Eva Selhub, co-author of Your Brain on Nature.

So rather than throwing a few more house plants in the office, Microsoft decided to take the office to the outdoors.

“We don’t have to bring nature to urbanity — we are in nature. It’s at our back door,” said Mr Boulter.
And the rest of us regular office-dwelling people are very jealous indeed.

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