Amazon’s New ‘ZenBooths’ For Employees’ Mental Health Leave The Internet Aghast

Video screenshot via Amazon News

Some places have venting outlets that invite you to smash everything in the room. Amazon has human-sized escape booths for stressed employees.

With its near-dystopian practices—like the introduction of warehouse mini games and alleged limited bathroom breaks that have forced employees to pee in bottles—the e-commerce giant is taking another blow from the internet for its new ‘AmaZen’ or ‘ZenBooth’ boxes for workers to “focus on their mental wellbeing.”

In a now-deleted video, Amazon’s news Twitter account introduced the blue kiosks, where staffers can retreat to and watch guided meditation videos from a computer. Within, the booths are bedecked with plants and a fan to cool occupants down. An artificial sky hovers above, casting blue light on the user.

“With AmaZen, I wanted to create a space that’s quiet, that people could go and focus on their mental and emotional wellbeing,” explained Leila Brown, an employee and inventor of the ZenBooth. She also described it as “an interactive kiosk where you can navigate through a library of mental health and mindful practices to recharge the internal battery.”

Unsurprisingly, the addition has triggered social media users, who have even compared the blue booths with portable toilets—amenities that Amazon workers apparently require more of. Others have branded it a “mobile Despair Closet” and crying booth.

Amazon has not responded to comments about the AmaZen booths.

.@amazonnews deleted this tweet

— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) May 27, 2021

Seems like a good spot to pee in bottles, cry, etc

— A҉U҉D҉ (@audrenochrome) May 27, 2021

“No no no, it’s a mental health booth.”

— Tobias van Schneider (@vanschneider) May 27, 2021

the AmaZen “ZenBooth” is here! a Porta Potty would be more useful to its intensely exploited and surveilled workers but I appreciate Amazon’s commitment to the bit

— Alex Press (@alexnpress) May 27, 2021

I’m going to do heroin in this thing

— Surplus Value Meal 📉 🇵🇸 (@surplusvalmeal) May 27, 2021

*pay will be docked for any time spent in booth
**booth charges $30/hr (rounded up), deducted automatically from pay
***repeated visits to booth may be grounds for dismissal

— Gritty is the Way (@Gritty20202) May 27, 2021

****crying in the booth is allowed, however there is a $4 per tissue fee.

— ginormous portmanteau (@default_user12) May 27, 2021

i feel like livable wages & working conditions are better than a mobile Despair Closet

— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) May 27, 2021

Get in the shame closet, they said

— von honkers and 69 others (@vonhonkington) May 27, 2021

You know what's also great for mental well being? Being able to piss on the clock without it being a break once in a while.

Not having to stress about biological functions really helps my depression I bet.

— Euge (@fewgene) May 27, 2021

wow imagine how much more useful a union would be

— huffy🪲 (@sulkingtime) May 27, 2021

[via VICE and The Guardian, cover image via Amazon News]