- Microsoft unveiled new treehouse workplaces inspired by creativity and nature, according to a company blog post. The treehouses are part of new technology-enabled and connected outdoor work areas on the company's 500-acre property.
- The work spaces were designed by "Treehouse Masters'" Pete Nelson and constructed this summer. Among the outdoor workplaces are two enclosed treehouses and one Crow's Nest. The nature-inspired workspaces are accommodating to mobile workloads and include outdoor Wi-Fi, waterproof benches and available electricity sources.
- The tech company began its mission to "restore the mind from mental fatigue" from the workplace as it is scientifically proven nature has a positive impact on mood and stress, according to the announcement.
Creative workspaces are not uncommon for Silicon Valley companies. Stale working environments can hinder creativity and productivity, and many employees look to work remotely just to avoid office "burnout." Many workers have taken employment into their own hands and become contract workers, for whom interview requests have tripled since 2015.
Unconventional and creative working environments are primary concerns for the tech workforce, and the nature-inspired workplaces are encouraging Microsoft employees to rethink how they work.
Demand for top tech talent is on the rise and companies are looking for ways to retain as much talent as possible. Besides an inviting and exciting workplace, meeting flexible schedules demands, providing a wide range of benefits and offering flexible vacations are common ways for employers to make themselves more attractive.
Microsoft employees collectively agreed that if given the opportunity, they would want to work outdoors. The company's campus is already on large pieces of open land and instead of bringing "nature to urbanity" the company utilized its natural resources. The treehouse structures are flexible and expected to last about 20 years.