Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Imagine that after a grueling day of meeting deadlines, never
ending phone calls and towers of paperwork, you get a treat: Your
boss springs for a massage for your entire department!
One of the main contributors to our every day stress is our workplace. Seventy percent of workers responding to a national survey stated that their job is very stressful. In today's economy, large numbers of people are feeling more pressure from management, a heavier workload and concern about their job security. Massage therapists can turn this situation to their advantage by marketing workplace-wellness massage aimed at decreasing employee stress.
"More and more companies offer massage therapy not only as a perk, but also to increase their employees' productivity and morale," said E. Houston LeBrun, president-elect of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). "You get immediate results - the employees experience stress reduction and greater satisfaction with their jobs."
Most companies contract with massage therapists who schedule appointments with employees during breaks. The recipient is seated in a specially designed chair that allows the therapist to address the common problem areas on the back, neck, shoulders, and arms. There is no oil used and the worker is fully clothed. The massage session usually lasts 10-15 minutes, the time for a coffee break.
Dollar for dollar, massage is a very inexpensive benefit that has a very high value perceived by employees, despite its low cost. The Society for Human Resource Management estimates about 12% of employers offer massage therapy services to their employees. Some companies provide chair massages on a regular basis. Others use it as a reward for a job well done, relief during a particularly stressful time (such as tax season for CPAs), or the end of a challenging project.
Here are some trend-setting examples. IBM Multimedia gave web programmers twice-weekly massages during a two-year project. IKEA offered massages to employees at stores in Pennsylvania and California during several large sales events. The Weather Channel provides monthly and quarterly massages to employees in Atlanta and New York. Atlanta's Northside Hospital has offered massages to employees for seven years. These are just a few examples of employers who want to be known for their benefits and differentiate themselves in the labor marketplace.
There's no doubt massage has come a long way in the last decade and chair massage even more so, because of its presence in "safe" and commonplace settings. Today everybody knows what chair massage is, even if they've never had one. Workplace massage currently accounts for 50% of chair massages.
If you're thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, think about marketing to this large group of untapped clients. If 12% of employers offer workplace massages, that means that 88% are not, and that's a whole lot of business for you! Workplace massage can afford you the opportunity to give your corporate customers happy employees and we all know that happy employees make for happy customers.