It has become common to see images of major employers such as Google offering unusual employee perks, including video game lounges, free food and the ability to bring pets to work. All of these benefits make the workplace more comfortable, especially for people who have to spend long hours in the office to complete time-sensitive projects. One of the latest additions that have helped set some of the world’s biggest employers apart from the typical business world is on-site massages, and there is every indication that this trend will continue to grow.
Google not only has massage therapists on-site but they also give each employee the ability to reward each other with massage credits. These credits are given out for a job well-done, and once enough of them are accumulated, they can be turned in for a free one-hour massage. This approach makes a lot of sense because it builds employee morale, and it also enables people to take advantage of massage health benefits that range from reduced anxiety to the relief of temporomandibular joint pain.
Employers on the West Coast have been leading this trend for a few years, and industry surveys make it clear that massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care have been added as a retention tool. In other words, even if the employers do not see any immediate payoffs in connection with providing these services, they are still willing to invest in them as a way to keep the job satisfaction of their skilled workers at a high level.
Some companies do not have the budget or space necessary to keep a massage therapist on-site throughout their regular business hours, but this does not mean that they are completely unable to offer this work perk. Licensed massage therapist Anne L. Nader is one of a growing list of professionals who offer chair massages for corporate events. Nader indicated that “chair massages and gift certificates are a popular way for companies to show their appreciation during special events. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly popular for medium to large-sized companies to bring in a massage therapist during major deadline pushes that are more stressful than their typical work environment.”
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, Boeing, Eddie Bauer and the Colorado Health Institute offer wellness programs that include massage therapy. Numerous smaller companies such as law firms and accounting firms are also adding this perk at least once a month to help make their employees feel more relaxed and appreciated. This makes sense when you consider the fact that even a 15-minute massage can dramatically reduce muscle tension and pain. Massage has also been conclusively linked with relieving headaches, insomnia and stress.
Approximately 32.6 million Americans seek out a massage on their own each year, and this number has been steadily climbing for several years. With the addition of so many corporate wellness and massage programs, it seems likely that the U.S. Department of Labor’s projected massage therapy employment increase of 23 percent by 2022 will come to fruition. This makes massage therapy one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, which will make it even easier for companies of all sizes to retain the services of one of these skilled professionals as part of their employee benefits package.