We often get questions like these from human resources professionals: What's the big deal with massage events? Are they really worth it? Isn't massage just a feel-good perk with no real business results?
It's common for HR leaders to have real questions about what massage events really are and what benefits they provide. So, we want to cover it all -- soup to nuts about what massage events are all about.
Massage Events Overview: The Nitty Gritty Info
Let’s start with the basics – what exactly are massage events?
Simply put, massage events are any company-organized affairs that provide some kind of massage services free of charge to their employees, or for a low cost.
Everyone's First Concern: Chair Massage Event Cost Massage events aren't free (usually), and the first question we always get is: How much will it cost? Most massage companies will clearly state their prices for different events. Cost will be determined by how long the event is and how many therapists are needed. You may get a discount by committing to a series of events, rather than a one-time thing.
The additional cost of lost time at work is another thing to consider, though it may be harder to track. Some companies will provide chair massage sessions during employees' regular break times, to avoid this loss. Other companies weigh the cost of the lost time against the improved office morale and consider it even.
To make a real financial return on investment, an office massage program must be repeated to be beneficial. Same goes for relaxation and morale boosting in the office -- a one-time event massage feels good, but the effects don't last forever. It could take 2-5 years of regular massage events to see a real financial difference.
Office Massage Event Uglies: When it Doesn't Work
Not every business is suited to receive regular in-house chair massages. Companies with employees regularly out "in the field" have a harder time of gathering everyone in one place to receive such a benefit (construction companies, landscapers, etc.).
The very best place for an office chair massage is in a quiet, out-of-the-way office, which is just not the reality for every company. That's not to say massages can't happen in busy, noisy lunchrooms or hallways (we do it all the time), just that it won't be as relaxing an experience as it might be.
Another very real concern is employees with health problems. There are some health concerns that mean not everyone can get massages, such as unregulated high blood pressure, recent injuries like sprained ankles or mild whiplash.
Some of these concerns need a go-ahead from a doctor before a therapist can legally give a massage -- the therapist's worst nightmare is to make a problem worse, which not only further injures the client but also can put the therapist's license at risk. The best way to avoid this is for clients to honestly answer the therapist's question before beginning the massage: "Do you have any health concerns or injures I should be aware of?"
The Pros: When Corporate Massage Events Pay Off
The most obvious, and most immediate effect from a chair massage event is employee relaxation and boosted morale. This creates employees who become re-dedicated to the company and calms down the stress levels throughout the office. A one-time event can show employee appreciation; and a repeated event will make an impact on your company culture, productivity, and creativity.
With repeated massage events, employers can expect to see reduced sick leave and worker's compensation claims, a lower rate of employee turn-over, and generally happier, healthier employees. Chair massage is becoming the new must-have employee appreciation service.
Effects of Chair Massage at Work: What HR Leaders Say
We hope we've answered all of your questions about massage events. If not, feel free to reach out to us in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2015. It has revised and updated for accuracy.
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