Amazon's mental health kiosks are giving off the wrong vibe

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,523   +132
Staff member
Editor's take: Amazon has faced backlash in recent months for what some would described as workplace-related ethics issues. That makes the company an easy target to poke fun at, and despite how noble its intentions may be with AmaZen stations, that's exactly what some on social media are doing.

Amazon is rolling out “individual interactive kiosks” at its facilities as part of a larger health and safety program called WorkingWell that was announced earlier this month.

As outlined in Amazon’s announcement, AmaZen is designed to guide employees through mindfulness practices while on the job. Employees can visit AmaZen stations and watch short videos featuring wellbeing activities, positive affirmations, calming scenes with sounds and guided meditations.

“Self-care is important, and AmaZen gives me an opportunity to take time for myself to just pause and regroup which helps me be better at work,” said Katie Miller, an employee at an Amazon fulfillment center in Ohio.

“When I take that time, I come back to work more focused, and it has a lasting effect on the rest of my day,” Miller added.

Amazon’s press release didn’t go into any more detail, but by studying a photo of the booth making the rounds on news sites, I was able to uncover a bit more information on it.

The kiosk appears to be from Zenbooth, a company that makes and sells a whole line of office-minded private space products. The model shown in the photo above looks to be a Zenbooth Solo, an “office phone booth” that retails for $3,795.

Zenbooth cites Uber, Grammarly, Pandora, Shopify and Dropbox among its list of “happy customers.” Notably, Amazon isn't on that list.

Permalink to story.

 

Farkinell

Posts: 192   +300
Well this is ****ing horrific. I also appreciate how in the (badly) photoshopped stock photo there's not even enough room for the employee to sit down.

It looks like, and I *strongly* suspect it is, a space originally designed so employees can conduct confidential calls in, or speak without disturbing the rest of the office. Amazon have bought a load of these and stuck a chair in and called it a 'Zen' space. Urgh.
 

noel24

Posts: 753   +924
No one on the floor of Their packaging center will be given time to use one, so diapers are still the way to go.
 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,956   +6,227
$3,795 for a 1x1 meter personal prison, without seat - very neat!

Comes with a ceiling hook + rope-n-soap set, in case you feel unhappy inside...

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And I bet it smells like pine oil inside, while new that is.

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ZackL04

Posts: 741   +565
How about, if your unhappy with your job you find another one?

That, or suck it up and get back to work.

Zenbooth? How soft are we?
 

Dennis83

Posts: 33   +22
Well this is ****ing horrific. I also appreciate how in the (badly) photoshopped stock photo there's not even enough room for the employee to sit down.

It looks like, and I *strongly* suspect it is, a space originally designed so employees can conduct confidential calls in, or speak without disturbing the rest of the office. Amazon have bought a load of these and stuck a chair in and called it a 'Zen' space. Urgh.

I've seen similar kind of booths at larger offices, these are suppose to provide privacy so you do not have to leave the building or the compound and walk to your car on the parking lot to make a private phone call,
 

TheBigFatClown

Posts: 968   +393
Warehouses are very noisy places for those who have never worked in one. Silence is golden. Put me in one of those where I can sit down and not be disturbed and I'll write the next operating system for the world. Noise pollution today is horrible. I'm okay with these.

I honestly don't know how some programmers can focus in those open office space settings having to hear every sound every other human being makes. I couldn't do it.
 

Markoni35

Posts: 1,310   +524
It's a confession booth. There are mikes all around, and it's being recorded, in case you wanna recall your sins a few decades later.
 

arrowflash

Posts: 474   +511
Well. For typical modern open office spaces where you have zero peace and privacy, I actually like the idea of an acoustically shielded office phone booth to make calls. But only in this context of course.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 423   +754
You’re unsure of the connection between remote employee monitoring, the world’s largest e-commerce company, and technology?
It would be an incredible feat if the article would say so too... or the entire so called "press & media" about all of them.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 448   +586
Joke all you like, but it works exactly as intended. It's there to make people avoid talking to colleagues during breaks. If you do that long enough, you can tell your employees any lies you like and they won't have anyone to confirm it with when they have stopped talking to each other.