5-speed listening (Mental Health - Level 3)

Amazon creates 'AmaZen' booths for stressed workers



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Medium (N. American English)



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Amazon wants to help its workers with stress and mental health problems. The company plans to put special booths in its warehouses to help workers relax. They are called "wellness chambers". The booths are part of a new scheme called "WorkingWell". Workers can sit inside a booth and watch videos about relaxation. Amazon has said the chambers are part of a system called "AmaZen". Zen is a practice whereby people meditate and focus on being calm. The company said: "During shifts, employees can visit AmaZen stations and watch short videos featuring easy-to-follow well-being activities, including guided meditations...and calming scenes with sounds."

Not all was calm and Zen-like on social media after Amazon shared a video of the AmaZen chamber on its Twitter account. Many social media users criticised the video and the idea of the wellness chamber. Most of the criticism was because of working conditions at Amazon's warehouses. Britain's Independent newspaper reported on an Amazon worker who said the chambers would not work. The worker described his experiences of working at Amazon. He said: "You don't get treated like a person. They work you like a robot… You don't have time to...get water. You don't have time to go to the bathroom." Amazon said: "The health and safety of employees is [our] number one priority and has been since day one."

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