Corporations and firms are increasingly turning to different wellness trends to help employees deal with the pressures of modern work. One of the latest wellness trends is a “gong bath” where people lie down while a gong is being played percussively next to you.

Pfeffer, author of ‘Dying for a Paycheck’, notes that heart attacks peak on Monday mornings as stress levels mount in response to demanding work and bosses. Rather than mitigating the workplace pressures or minimising the level of electronic demands, employers are turning to different wellness programs to better workplace mental health.

Read the full article on The Guardian: Why stressed workers need four-day weeks – not wellness trends


In many of tech firms, the attractiveness of the remuneration package comes from the wellness options for employees like napping pods, yoga classes and organic kombucha. While there is nothing wrong per se about having these wellness options, are we using these to distract ourselves from the wider conversation we need to have about work?

The number of working hours are on the rise. Furthermore, with the advent of smartphones and 24-hours email access, it has become difficult to disconnect ourselves from the office and take a break from work.

Now that we are in a post-industrial age, how do we measure our productivity? Perhaps in the past, if we worked an additional hour, we may produce a further 25 pencils. But with today’s deliverables and output, productivity cannot be simply measured by the amount of time we spend in the office.

Given the reality of today’s working world, the debate needs to center around the number of working hours or days, and how to safeguard against electronic demands…rather than gongs, yoga and kombucha.

Questions for further personal evaluation: 

  1. Would a potential employer’s offer of wellness programs like yoga and gong therapy make you more likely to join them as an employee? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think that employees can remain productive if they only worked four days a week?

Useful vocabulary: 

  1. ‘mitigating’: making something less severe, serious or painful
  2. ‘advent’: the arrival of a person or thing