“A lot of people are like, ‘Where’s the AV?’ And I’m like, it’s a treehouse,” Bret Boulter said of Microsoft's new tree-based meeting spaces. “We wanted people to intentionally unplug, because they are sitting in front of screens all day long.”
Tech company Microsoft's latest trick for keeping employees on site are treehouse offices, it revealed in a new blog post.
In the post, Redmond touted the expansive benefits of three new tree-based meeting spaces it started building over the summer. The first two are open for reservation while the third "will be ready later this year."
Project head Boulter boasted, "Being more creative and flexible with our workspace allows us to be more creative and productive in our work and the products we create. It’s like a little getaway.”
The idea of working out of a treehouse certainly isn't a new idea, even in the UK. For example, Groundwork London tried out a pop-up office in Hoxton Square in Hackney in 2015, as the Guardian reported.
According to its blog, Microsoft is making the spaces on a 500-acre campus. They come equipped with cafeterias, Wi-Fi, power outlets, an outdoor gas fireplace and a weatherproof awning.
There are a couple of differentiating features for these work/play environments, like no, er, AV allowed. Does that mean no PowerPoint presentations, Redmond?
Another feature is that there is no "calibrated climate control." Meaning harsh winter or summer weather might make them interesting adventures.
There might be a real challenge even for bringing these to a city such as London.
Echoing Andie McDowell's line in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Microsoft quipped: "Long time Pacific Northwest residents feel a kinship with and comfort in nature that can be summed up by this fact: we barely see the need for umbrellas in the rain."
But hey, if you like nature, can focus outside, and aren't afraid of heights or bugs, fill your boots. ®