Once a week I have a massage—not in an actual spa, mind you, but right here in the office. It’s quite brilliant. Our in-office massage therapist provides me with a 15-minute break from the chaos that is occassionally my work day. And I love, love, love it. In fact, I look forward to it all week.
When we initiated our corporate massage program, I thought: 15 minutes, really … that’s all? How big of a difference is that really going to make? Well, I’ll tell you: A lot. Every week after my massage, I return to my desk revitalized and ready to slam through my remaining workload. The difference in my energy level is, frankly, striking. But, as I’ve learned, there are plenty of other benefits to corporate massage programs, and it is a result of these benefits that I’ve become such an advocate for corporate wellness. If I’m convincing today, I hope you’ll consider asking your boss to bring in a massage therapist on occasion.
So, how exactly do employees benefit from massage in the workplace?
Let’s first approach massage in the general sense: Studies have shown that massage lowers stress, increases “feel good” hormones, and increases white blood cells, effectively boosting the immune system and its ability to function.
But what does this have to do with the workplace?
Quite a bit, actually. Work factors heavily into our daily stress levels, even for those of us who love our jobs. Work involves deadlines, learning curves, constructive (and sometimes not-so-constructive) criticism, and communication with people we might not particularly like or find easy to work with. And, to top it off, people are even more challenging to work with when they are stressed.
But what can we do about all of that? After all, stress is a natural part of life. And while that’s true, it that doesn’t mean you can minimize it and its effects. According to research, improved employee stress levels can lessen absenteeism and decrease health claims (no surprise there!), but it can also increase productivity and improve workplace morale.
I find it difficult to fathom that most businesses wouldn’t want to ensure the aforementioned. What’s more, it doesn’t necessarily need to cost them anything. In our company, for example, the company provides the massage space and the employees pay for the actual massage. With that said, the fee is nominal, and largely, we are willing to pay it. You might be surprised how many employees are willing to pay for massage when it is readily accessible. After all, they are saving time and gas money simply by remaining at the office. And don’t we all deserve a break throughout the day?
Any human resources manager can tell you that it costs a pretty penny to hire and train new employees, so keeping good workers happy is important. By bringing massage to employees directly, workplaces are helping take part in the health and wellness of their employees. So, the next time your boss asks you for suggestions to improve workplace morale or productivity, consider bringing up a massage program. It has benefits that even the shrewdest boss would have a tough time overlooking.
So, just ask. And if the answer is no, go get yourself a massage anyways. You probably deserve it.