Microsoft’s new meeting places are in the trees. Manufacturer Windows, Xbox and Clippy built wooden tree houses for its workers, including a wooden deck in a Douglas fir tree in the northwest Pacific and a structure with charred wood walls and a round skylight.
Company say what the three houses of its trees are «more Hobbit than HQ, with tanned roof tiles and a gingerbread house feel.» Designed by master tree builder Pete Nelson, they include a number of open decks and enclosed spaces, including meeting rooms and a family room to be completed later in the year.
«In the air, the usual sounds of the corporation clicking on doors, conferences and heels on concrete fade,» describe an entry from BLOGS . «An autumn wind sweeps the emerald branches. From time to time, a pineapple falls on the terrace with a bang. A sudden noise interrupts the gentle silence of the morning: a squirrel in a hurry to eat breakfast throws itself into the arms of the nearby hemlock and the red cedar in the west. «
Sounds pretty idyllic, doesn’t it? Utopian, really. Silicon Valley Culture he was born , at least partially, of acid counterculture in the Gulf area since the 1960s, which made up much of the reconnecting with nature. There is also a note of fetishized infantilization, with the nostalgic timbre of a tree house ringing with a resonance similar to that of tube slides and playhouses Google . Overall, it’s very Silicon Valley.
That being said, working outdoors is something that many office workers would associate with when they think about it. Microsoft says its new workspaces were developed after an internal survey asked employees what they care most about. «People said that if given the opportunity, they would work more outdoors,» said Bret Boulter, who works in real estate and facilities at the Microsoft campus in Redmond.
The tree houses are part of Microsoft’s larger force for outdoor «districts» with Wi-Fi and spacious work points. The company also points out the lack of technology, including AV systems and air conditioning. Certainly, on the blog, he paints an image of the powerful gatherings, intertwined with the natural, stress-free scent of pine:
«On a recent sunny day, an employee was sitting cross-legged on a soft, grassy hill under a tree house. For a few minutes, he sat with his hands on his knees, his eyes closed, his head bowed to the sky, taking a deep breath. Then he picked up his laptop and typed angrily. After a flood of work, he set the computer aside, put his palms on his knees, raised his eyes, and closed his eyes again. «
It doesn’t work for just one corporation dream ?