Today, more than ever workers are besieged by stress and pressure on the job. Whether it’s over workload, low pay, or time pressure, tension can build up and even possibly cause health problems.
According to a 2013 Work Stress Survey by Harris Interactive http://www.harrisinteractive.com/NewsRoom/HarrisPolls.aspx, more than 8 in 10 American employees are stress by poor pay and increasing workload. When employees are unhappy and are continuously under pressure in their jobs, low morale can build up among the workforce. This can also lead to employee poor performance and possibly high turnover.
Smart and successful companies are responding to such problems by offering their employees more life balance programs such as workplace chair massages. Such program can be integrated with company’s wellness and benefit programs.
Massage therapy in the workplace is not a new concept. During the past couple of decades, many businesses have made massage therapy a part of its wellness or benefits program. Employers have found offering workplace massages can be cost-effective and beneficial to both employees and the organization as a whole. Employee participation has also been favorable for most organization that structures the program properly.
Generally, on-site workplace massages are performed in a portable chair which the employee is placed in a setting position, leaning forward. No clothing is removed except possibly jackets or sweaters.
Although privacy is not required for the massage, it is best that the massage therapist have access to an empty office or small conference room with a door that can be closed. This way, there is no disruption during the massage and it put the person receiving the massage at ease, which is a big part of the purpose of the chair massage.
Workplace chair massage pricing
The typical workplace massage last from 10 to 20 minutes, but employees can also ask for additional time provided they have the available time. Remember, these massages are done at the workplace and usually during employees break or lunch period.
Prices can vary depending on the massage therapist or company price structure. However, generally prices can range from $15 to $25 for a 10 to 15 minutes chair massage and from $35 to $70 for a 30 to 60 minutes chair massage. Typically, employees take the 10 to 20 minutes chair massage because of minimum costs and time constraints they have to get the massage during their lunch or break period.
Companies can often negotiate volume discounts for massages. Pricing may also be associated with the day of the week, time of day and total of on-site hours requested. Employers would need to contact the massage therapist or company directly to get specific rates.
Many massage therapist and the company they work for have at least three common pay plans: One would be the company pays for all the massages of its employees; the company and employee share or split the cost of the massage; or the employee pays for the full cost of the massage. It is not uncommon for employee participation to be high when the employer pays the full cost of the massage. However, if the cost is reasonably affordable, many employers have found that employee participation is usually also favorable when the cost is shared or even when the employees pay the full cost of the massage.
It is best that human resources or someone such as a department secretary coordinate the workplace chair massage program. This would help to ensure that massages are properly pre-scheduled and the process does not disruptive work activities. The coordinator should have a complete list of names; dates and times massages are scheduled for the day and see that the massage therapist receives the list before arrival at the workplace. They should also be responsible for informing the massage therapist of any cancellations or late arrivals.
It would also be appropriate that the human resources department or coordinator of the massage program ensure that there is a regular room scheduled and available for the massage therapist to conduct the massages. This includes ensuring that the room has adequate space for privacy and the massage therapist chair and other equipment.
There are many benefits to workplace chair massages for people of all ages. One report showed that adults who received two 15-minutes massage each week experience signs of relaxation and increased speed and accuracy in their work.
Workplace chair massages also help to reduce both physical and mental stress, therefore, helping to prevent burnout and other job pressures. Massages also reduce the adverse effects of sitting for long periods of time in the same position, as well as relieve physical problems associated with repetitive tasks. Massages also help to relieve frequent problem conditions such as tension headaches and sore or stiff muscles. Some health experts also say it improves the immune system contributing to improve general health and resistance to colds and other illnesses.
Many employees after receiving a workplace chair massage usually say that the massage energized them, made them feel relaxed, revitalized and given them new found vigor to return to work.
Again, smart companies that want to boost employee morale, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and employee turnover would be wise to consider implementing an on-site workplace chair massage program in their organization. Generally, it requires no capital investment to initiate and little to no overhead to maintain.
Employers should consider making it part of their wellness program to help reduce health maintenance costs and workers’ compensation and disability insurance costs. Such program would be a win-win for both employer and employees.
Also, companies can include free chair massages as part of their reward for their employee recognition program for those employees who have gone the extra mile.
Employees whose companies do not offer such program, but would like to see it adopted at their organization, may consider lobbying for the program by talking with the director of human resources. They can also send an email or written suggestion to the CEO or other senior management person in the organization.
How to choose a massage therapist
Massage therapist are trained to help relieve stress and improve relaxation and alertness. When choosing a massage therapist make sure the therapist is state-certified. A state-certified massage therapist would have met specified qualifications, such as graduating from an accredited school with at least 500 hours of training and passing the state certification.
Also, consider what massage organization is the massage therapist associated with. For example, one of the largest massage associations is The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) http://www.amtamassage.org/index.html. It is the largest non-profit professional association that serves both massage therapists and massage schools. The organization was created in 1943. AMTA has a list of qualified massage therapist throughout the U.S. and can make recommendations or put companies in touch with a chapter located in their area.
When selecting a massage therapist weigh liability issues. For example, what if someone is injured during a massage? Although this is rare, however, employers can protect themselves by making sure the massage therapist carry liability insurance. Certified masseuses can buy up to $3 million worth of coverage through national massage associations or they can purchase their own coverage through an insurance company.
Successful and forward thinking companies know that at the end of the day, it’s their employees that are critical to the success of the company. Therefore, it pays to keep them happy and healthy. Employers also know if they are going to keep good productive employees they must offer them competitive pay and benefits, recognition programs that rewards and reinforces achievement, and a workplace that prevents employee burnout while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Workplace chair massages is one many ways companies can help employees achieve and maintain good health. Ultimately and indirectly, investing in such program could also help companies with their bottom line.