Ping pong tables, beer on tap and beanbag chairs are cool and all, but Amazon may have just reinvented the true definition of "employee perks." Photos and renderings of the company's new headquarters in Seattle have surfaced and let's just say it doesn't even look like it's on this planet!
According to Huffington Post, the tech giant has invested $4 billion into building out its very own "oasis of nature" in the downtown Seattle area where over 3,000 species of plants will live. The new office space will consist of three sphere-shaped orbs, which Amazon calls "biospheres," conjoined together. It's like something out of "The Jetsons."
So, why spend $4 billion on a sprawling, 100-foot-tall glass-domed campus filled with plants and shrubs in the first place? To boost employees' morale and well-being. But will it actually work? It should -- at the end of the day, what employee wouldn't want to venture into a serene glass cave filled with plant life similar to Sandy's house in Spongebob?!
Huffington Post cited a 2013 study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter which focused on offices using plants to boost the well-being of employees in the workplace.
The study reads,
The results showed that allowing staff to make design decisions in a workspace enhanced with office plants can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%.
Amazon's on to something... I mean, $4 billion is a small price to pay for a happy, productive team, isn't it?!
In addition to the University of Exeter's study, Professor Alex Haslam, who conducted a similar study in 2014 at the University of Queensland, revealed,
It appears that... a green office communicates to employees that their employer cares about them and their welfare.
Well, due to the wave of negative press surrounding Amazon's poor working conditions back in 2011 and 2013, it'd make sense that they're willing to spend $4 billion on plants and "biospheres."
A few Instagram users in Seattle have already spotted the construction site where Amazon's new headquarters will live:
Each dome, which Amazon calls "biospheres," will be about 100-feet-tall.
The best part? The city's famous Space Needle can be seen from Amazon's new headquarters.
Here's what it looks like with windows.
Amazon plans to open the 65,000-square-foot headquarters in 2018. Current Amazon employees will just have to depend on those ping pong tables and beanbag chairs to fuel their happiness for the time being.
As for the rest of the world... I guess coffee will just have to suffice!