When you are considering corporate massage therapy at your office, some problems might come up. From budgets and scheduling to liability and compliance, there are a lot of reasons that you, or the people upstairs, might have some reservations.
We identified the top 10 issues we've seen our clients face when trying to provide corporate massage therapy at their workplace, and in this article we are going to provide you with an array of solutions to help you with each problem that may arise.
Corporate Massage Therapy Problems & Solutions
Corporate massage therapy doesn't fit our budget.
Budget constraints are definitely the biggest hurdle for many of our clients wanting to start offering chair massage at work. But before you cast the idea aside, we've discovered some very excellent ways our clients have found around the funding issue that may help you.
One effective tactic to use if you don't have budget set up for onsite massage, is to bill it under the corporate wellness budget. Since massage has health benefits like stress reduction and improved immune function, many companies take from the corporate wellness budget to finance their corporate massages.
Another option that works well, especially if you're putting together a large massage event like a holiday party or health fair, is to combine budgets with other departments to pay for it. One of our clients does a safety fair and combines monies from the safety budget with some from the wellness budget to cover the cost of the massages at the safety fair.
Another favorite method to save dollars is to split the cost with the employees. Some companies will do this for events, and most will provide this option for recurring massage programs. This can be a $3 contribution from each employee for a 15 minute massage (which is still a steal for them!) or a 50/50 split. Any way you cut, it's a great way to save!
Managing the schedule for workplace massages is too much work.
Depending on the size of your company, managing all those 15 minute time slots can be a mess and very time consuming. But there are a few options that we've seen work really well for our clients and might help you too.
One method is to have one person in your organization in charge of sign ups. If you're a small to medium sized company, this is the most simple and cost effective way to manage it. This sign up sheet can be as basic as a paper list at the receptionist's desk or an electronic Google doc where your team of 30-50 can sign themselves up and the one in charge just oversees the operation.
We have one word of caution on the electronic sign up sheet, however. Anyone can change any thing on it, even replace someone's name with a different name, so make sure you have a small enough outfit that you can monitor that and trust each member of your team.
The best solution for scheduling if your company has more than 50 people is to hire a chair massage company that handles the scheduling for you. Better yet, hire a workplace massage company that has a tech platform to manage the entire program from text appointment reminders and custom email campaigns, to online and mobile booking apps. (I think we are still solo in this category...)
3. COMPANY GROWTH
Our company will quickly outgrow the office massage program.
If you find that the office size is growing quickly, or there just isn't enough time to get all your employees in to get massages, things can get ugly... fast.
But if your company is on the fast track to growth, there's no need to fear! We have discovered a few different ways to keep corporate growth from being a deal breaker for onsite massage.
One option to keep your chair massage program on track with your staffing level is to simply increase days or hours. Have Suzy Massage-er come in twice a week instead of once a week, and voila! Problem solved.
Another way to accommodate rapid growth is to work with a corporate massage company who can develop a chair massage program that can grow with you. If you know you're tripling in size in the next 12 months, let your provider know and they can work with you to develop a custom plan that fits your needs.
We are a secure facility and can't have massage therapists coming in.
Security is important. Especially if you are in the financial industry or health care industry. Lots of clients have come to us saying the proposal made it all the way to the top, only to be shot down because of security. But there are ways around this that might work for you.
Some of our clients with secure facilities have found a work-around with security by assigning specific therapists to their location, and then, with the therapists' permission of course, running the massage therapist through their required background checks. Depending on what chair massage company you're working with, this might be an option.
Some clients just require the massage therapists to sign NDAs. We get it. We don't want anyone stealing your secret sauce either. And our employees are happy to do this for our clients, as all corporate massage companies should be willing to do.
5. 24 HOUR FACILITIES
We're a 24 hour facility and need chair massage outside of normal business hours.
Some corporate massage companies can work with this and some can't. It just depends on who you're working with.
We have found that the most effective way to work with 24 hour facilities, like call centers and hospitals, is to bring workplace massage in during a stretch of time where it can overlap into the different shifts.
This might look like a 5am-10am shift of massage chairs to reach the nurses coming off the night shift at 7am and the nurses coming on shift for the day. This way you can reach two shifts at once.
We don't have the space for corporate massage therapy.
If finding a 7x7 space is an issue that may prevent chair massage at work, you just have to think outside the box.
If a conference room isn't an option, you can set the massage up where the therapists go from person to person at their own desk. This is very common in Australia and Europe, and this way you don't need space for the massage chair.
Another option is to set the chair massages up outdoors. Whether permitting, onsite massage under a canopy outside with the birds chirping can add an extra level of relaxation for your employees.
7. LIABILITY & LICENSING
We can't take on the liability created by having chair massage at work.
If you are looking at hiring an individual massage therapist, this can get messy. You will have to monitor their licensing, certification, liability insurance, worker's compensation (they can sign a waiver for $50 per year, otherwise your company is at risk), and of course, health department permit depending on the county regulations. One way to avoid all this paperwork and liability is to hire a company who manages all of that for you.
If you are choosing to work with a massage company, this really shouldn't be an issue because any large company you hire is going to have substantial liability insurance. So just ask for proof of insurance or a copy of their policy and that should suffice.
If that's not good enough, you can ask to have your company added as an additional insured to the massage company's existing liability insurance policy. This only takes a 5 minute phone call and they should be able to email that right over to you.
8. TOUCH IN THE WORKPLACE
We have some employees who are uncomfortable with touch.
Sometimes you come across people to don't like to be touched. Strange, but true. However, massage therapists are trained at putting people at ease, and they've all come across the occasional fears, complaints, or worries that may come up when offering massage at work.
We've actually seen the most apprehensive clients become the biggest fans of chair massage, once they give it a try.
Because chair massage is received while the client is fully-clothed, this actually opens up the world of massage to people who would otherwise be uncomfortable with disrobing for a table massage. Offering massage in the workplace allows these people to experience the benefits of massage without the stress of getting into their birthday suits.
9. REMOTE WORKFORCE
My team works remotely and we aren't all in the office everyday.
If you don't have your team together everyday and want to treat them all to some onsite massage, a great way to do that is to bring it in for team meetings when everyone is all together. Many clients will set the massage chairs up on the side of the room and let people rotate in and out while the meeting is going.
If you don't have team meetings in person, then set up the chair massages for big company events or retreats. This is a great perk to add to your upcoming retreat when everyone is together a burning the midnight oil.
Another solution to this problem is to give remote employees a massage benefit of equal value. So if your corporate office gets 1 fifteen minute massage a week at work, give them a credit at a local spa for 1 hour a month of massage so it's fair.
One more effective option is to provide more than one wellness benefit so people can choose the option(s) that works best for them. If they can't get massage, they can get the gym pass instead.
10. EMPLOYEES BREAKS
Our employees can't leave their work stations to get a chair massage.
Most companies we work with let their employees take paid breaks to get their chair massages. But if your company isn't able to give your employees a paid break for a massage, there are still ways around this.
You can always let your employees use one of their unpaid breaks to get their massage at work. Whether that's a lunch break or a potty break, everyone gets a little time to step away, and your employees can opt to use this for their chair massage time.
If that won't work, bring on site massage in between shifts so people can snag a massage coming off shift or coming on shift.
Another option that has been effective for our clients if their employees literally cannot step away, is to just have the massage therapists go desk to desk so your employees don't have to stop working and leave their work stations.