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Forget Beanbag Chairs - Amazon Workers are Getting Greenhouses

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“What have you done for me lately?” may be a song that’s on the minds of Toronto workers as you think about your bosses over the next few weeks when you read what giant tech leader Amazon is giving to its workers. It will be pretty difficult to avoid hearing about it. Amazon is now giving its employees a new attentiveness by building a forest-like sanctuary of treehouses, trees and beautiful plants, and it’s dominating the media and the minds of our collective cultural leaders. So, does that mean we can expect our next job offers to come with tree houses? We can only wonder.

Ever the pioneer of cloud computing, electronic book reading and internet shopping, Amazon is now creating high-tech greenhouses, treehouses, and workspaces surrounded by nature to make the working environment more conducive to creativity. According to sources, “the whole idea was to get people to think more creatively, maybe come up with a new idea they wouldn’t have if they were just in their office,” said Dale Alberda, the lead architect on the project ; his employer has also worked on building projects for Samsung, Google and the Chinese internet company Tencent.


When the new Amazon workers will muse at lunch while sitting next to an indoor creek, meet for discussions sitting in rooms with vine-covered walls, and discover new thoughts wandering through tree canopies three stories up from the earth, the rest of us will feel the reverberations in workspace designs of the future.

Hip Workplaces Make Nature the Star

The trend that Amazon is now on the cutting edge of is where corporations create refined interiors for their staff, where nature is the star of the show. The Amazon headquarters is located right in the heart of Seattle. Amazon is the largest private employer in that city, and the building development will allow for at least double the current employee numbers there. According to Margaret O’Mara, an associate professor of history at the University of Washington, the spheres are a kind of Walden Pond under glass. “It’s a retreat, a cathedral away from the hubbub of the city,” she said. The new Amazon work sanctuary is expected to reduce stress among its staff as well.

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