Pros and Cons of Workplace Massage Programs- an Honest Review - People getting chair massages outside at an event

Pros and Cons of Workplace Massage Programs- an Honest Review

Amelia Wilcox
April 16, 2016
October 9, 2022

If you're looking for the pros and cons of workplace massages, you're off to a good start. As we've come to find out, a workplace massage program is not for every business.

When evaluating if corporate massage is right for your organization, there is a lot to consider. Since we are committed to being brutally honest and open, here is an authentic evaluation of the good, the bad, and the reality of massage at work.

workplace massages pros and cons

Is a Workplace Massage Program Right for Your Office?

There is a lot to consider when answering this question.

And though there may be a lot of reasons to move forward with a program like this, there are also some real things to evaluate to make sure that it's a good fit for your corporate culture, your budget, and business.

5 Reasons a Workplace Massage Program Would Not Be a Good Fit

1. A workplace massage program isn't cheap.

Office massage programs can be expensive. With hourly rates ranging from $70—$100 per hour per therapist, businesses spend anywhere between $160 per month to over $60,000 a year on a solid massage program for their office, depending on the size of the organization.

The larger the company, the more it will cost to provide massages for everyone.

Some corporate massage companies offer cost-sharing options, where employees can subsidize some of the costs, which can definitely take the edge off, but the bottom line is that a corporate massage program is an investment that takes consideration, research and a real predetermined budget.

workplace massage program

2. Make sure you have room to grow the massage program.

Along the lines of the point listed above, if you have a set budget and the program grows in popularity (which it always does) or your company is in growth mode, you might find that there aren't enough time slots available for the all the employees trying to get in.

If left unchecked, this can work against you.

If all 100 slots are filled up the day booking opens leaving 250 people without their massages, it can be a real buzzkill for your staff. Left unchecked, a stunted massage program can end up decreasing employee morale across the company. So make sure you anticipate any increases you might need for the massage budget over time before jumping in.

Related: When Company Growth Kills Chair Massage Programs

3. Ending an employee massage program kills morale.

If you implement a chair massage program without the proper funding to keep it going, that can work against you as well.

Taking away a benefit like corporate massage, once your employees are used to it, is a bit of morale killer. So you might not want to take the leap into a recurring massage program unless you are in for the long haul. You can always just stick to sporadic massage events as a treat or surprise for your employees.

Related: Proven Ways to Boost Employee Morale: Why Office Massage Delivers

4. You can't sacrifice the time.

Some companies can’t sacrifice the time to let their employees step away for 15 minutes of stress relief.

If your business is in manufacturing with employees who can’t leave the line, or if you’re a call center that can’t afford to give them a few minutes off the phone, then a corporate massage program may not be a good fit for you.

Some massage companies offer custom programs with hours to fit the needs of 24-hour facilities or can work around the shifts of manufacturing plants to hit employees on their breaks.

Related: What's Chair Massage Without the Chair?

5. Not everyone likes to be touched.

I know, I know. Seems impossible right? But it’s true! Some people do not like to be touched or simply think massage in the workplace is inappropriate.

No matter how hard you try, there will always be that 2-5% of people who just aren’t into chair massage.

To figure out how well a massage program would be utilized at your company, just ask them! Typically a quick online survey can give you an accurate picture of whether or not massages at work are something your employees want.

6 Reasons a Workplace Massage Program Is a Good Fit

1. Your employees will love chair massage.

Corporate massage makes your employees happy. Not just happy, but ridiculously happy. We are talking office countdown, no-one-calls-in-sick-on-massage-day kind of happy.

Employee morale shoots off the charts when you introduce chair massage to your office.

When you bring massage into your office, employees look forward to their 15 minutes of bliss because work can be stressful, and that dose of stress relief always makes “massage day” the best day of the week.

Noelle Bates, VP of Marketing at Needle sees the benefits of their office massage program every single week:

“Our employees circle massage day on their calendars and mention often how much they appreciate the program and look forward to coming into work on that day in particular.”

Besides workplace stress relief and insane levels of employee morale, just imagine the accolades and office-wide cheering you will get to bask in as you quickly become the hero of your office.

workplace massage program

2. Employee productivity will increase.

Office massage builds employees into productivity powerhouses. No doubt about it. Research studies have shown that after a massage, employees score higher on math computations and have less stress and higher energy levels throughout the day.

Plus they aren’t distracted with things like headaches, carpal tunnel, and back pain slowing them down because regular massage alleviates those problems.

Aaron Call, VP of Sales and Operations at G&A Partners loves their program so much that they've nearly doubled it every year.

G&A Partners even provides an office massage day for one of their clients as a corporate gift every single month because they have experienced such phenomenal results with their own chair massage program:

“Productivity and overall employee satisfaction has increased, and our customer service ratings have improved as well. Providing massage for our employees has been a great investment for our company with an excellent ROI that is ultimately experienced by our customers.”

When your team feels understood and appreciated, they work harder, and give more to your company and your cause. We all want more employee buy-in, and office massage totally delivers.

3. Chair massage programs help attract the best applicants.

If you want your pick of the litter of applicants, chair massage will get you there. What’s more attractive to potential employees than a nice dose of employer-provided stress relief each week? Nothing.

Employee survey after employee survey shows that onsite massage is at the top of most employees' lists when you ask. Sure, free food and health care have their place, but they are almost taken for granted in today’s workplace. Corporate massage will set your organization apart from the others and bring in the resumes you’re looking for.

Brandon Fish, VP of Human Resources at Entrata has found recruiting to be easier than ever since implementing their office massage program:

“As we recruit new talent, massage is an attractive benefit for our potential new employees. We are glad we made the decision to add massage services as one of our perks.”

And what’s even better? You will keep them. Your employees will stick around because companies with chair massage programs have shown increased retention rates, which translates to less work for you and more money staying in your budget instead of walking out your doors.

Related: Employee Retention: It's Not as Difficult as You Think

workplace massages pros and cons

4. Office massage programs have an excellent ROI.

If increased employee morale, lower turnover, higher recruitment rates, and enhanced employee productivity don’t do it for you, what will?

Those indisputable effects of workplace massage definitely translate into some very real dollar signs.

Recent studies have shown that employees receiving employer-provided chair massage spent 33% less on doctor’s visits and prescription medication costs than those who did not. That is a significant chunk of change.

5. It’s easy to start a workplace massage program.

Chair massage programs are simple and easy to implement. You just name the time and place and let the employee bliss begin.

Massage chairs are small and versatile, so they can be set up in virtually any space, from conference rooms to closets.

Some massage companies even take that a step further and manage scheduling and reporting for you. This kind of a program makes it easier than ever to implement chair massage by taking all the administrative work out of it for you.

Lauren Reichman, Senior Wellness Coordinator at Usana Health Sciences has never been happier with their chair massage program now that they utilize a full service massage provider:

“From initiation of the contract to continuing to follow up [it] has been seamless. It has taken a lot of work off my shoulders, so our massage program is organized and utilized more by the employees.”

6. All the cool kids are doing corporate massage.

If ROI isn’t a big enough motivator to convince you to move forward with your own chair massage program, maybe some good old fashioned peer pressure will do the job.

Across the nation, cutting-edge employers are buying into the office massage revolution and reaping the benefits.

From Adobe and Needle, to Property Solutions and O.C. Tanner, chair massage is sweeping the state.

Pioneered by companies like Nicholas & Co., SelectHealth, and 1-800-CONTACTS, other employers are getting onboard with what those companies have realized for years: employee massage pays dividends.


By participating in/reading the service/website/blog/email series on this website, you acknowledge that this is a personal website/blog and is for informational purposes and should not be seen as mental health care advice. You should consult with a licensed professional before you rely on this website/blog’s information. All things written on this website should not be seen as therapy treatment and should not take the place of therapy or any other health care or mental health advice. Always seek the advice of a mental health care professional or physician. The content on this blog is not meant to and does not substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.