Amazon has been criticised for its ‘depressing’ attempt at tackling mental health issues in the workplace through tiny meditation boxes.
Called ‘AmaZen’ booths, the e-commerce company said they are ‘interactive mindful practice rooms’ where workers can watch videos on mental health.
In a now-deleted company video, employee Leila Brown who came up with the idea said: ‘With AmaZen I wanted to create a space that’s quiet, that people could go and focus on their mental and emotional wellbeing.
‘The ZenBooth is an interactive kiosk where you can navigate through a library of mental health and mindful practices to recharge the internal battery.’
The video shows a cubicle-sized kiosk in the middle of one of Amazon’s warehouses, with a small desk and computer screen inside. Plants and a fake skylight decorate the interior.
The booths come as Amazon’s profits have soared through the coronavirus crisis, with people relying on deliveries while self-isolating or under lockdown restrictions.
But the giant saw huge backlash on Twitter after posting the video about the launch of the kiosks following claims of claims of unfair work practices and tax contributions.
Staff members reported being forced to urinate in plastic bottles as they aren’t given time for a toilet break – a claim Amazon strongly denies – and drivers were also apparently made to sign a ‘biometric consent form’.
@70bpmhiccups tweeted: ‘Or you could pay your employees well, not treat them like garbage, and accept unionisation.’
‘Imagine working in a place where this is deemed necessary,’ said @johnnymac79.
Talia Lavin wrote: ‘I feel like liveable wages and working conditions are better than a mobile Despair Closet.’
Metro.co.uk has reached out to Amazon for comment.
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