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May 30, 2017 Amelia Wilcox

Employee Incentive Ideas: Pros and Cons of Workplace Massage

We’ve seen companies use on site massage services for a variety of things. Office massage is a wellness tool, a morale booster, a way to entice top talent, and even a great gift. But is office massage a good employee incentive idea? The answer isn’t as clear as you might expect. In this article, we spell out the pros and cons of using office massage as an employee incentive.

Does using massage for employee incentives make sense?

You’d think a massage company wouldn’t have trouble answering that question. But the truth is there are circumstances that make massage work really well as an incentive, and there are times when it fails.


Pros and Cons of Wellness Incentive Ideas: Using Massage at Work


Companies typically use incentives to improve productivity, reward excellent work, or encourage participation in a program. They’re intended to be an enticing motivator that will provide an extra bit of encouragement to your employees.

More setting up massage for employee incentives ideas.

So how does it work when you’re talking about an office massage service? Let’s check out the pros and cons below.


employee incentive massage


Employee Incentive Massages: PROS

Let’s start with the fun part. Employees love massages.

Especially free massages. And especially free massages at work.

Here are some benefits of office massage your employees will see:

  • Reduced tension
  • Fewer headaches
  • Relaxed muscles
  • Improved mental focus
  • Minimized workplace injuries

Using office massage as an incentive works because it’s a perk they already want. The promise of 15-20 relaxing minutes on the job is a great motivator.

Another reason office massage works as an incentive is because it can reduce stress and tension. And if the incentive is earned after a particularly tough project or after reaching a difficult goal, it’s a great way for employees to bounce back from all that stress.


employee incentive massage


Employee Incentive Massage: CONS

So is there really any downside to an office massage service? That depends. While a massage at work is always a great thing, there can be long-term implications when it’s only used as an incentive, rather than part of a program.

In other words, when an office massage is only an occasional thing, there are some perks you won’t see. For example, one massage a month won’t be as effective at reducing muscle knots or carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms as a regular massage program would be.

Additionally, using office massage as an occasional incentive will give it the reputation of a “perk” rather than an effective tool for boosting morale or reducing injuries and stress.

So how can you make massage work as an incentive? Read on for some ideas…


Office Massage for Employee Incentives: Making it Work

Consider bringing in office massage as a regular program, and then use an extra session per month as the incentive. Or a longer massage session, or even a full table massage instead of a standard chair massage.

You could also consider payment of the massage program as part of the incentive — employees who meet their goals could get their massages for free, and employees who don’t meet goals have to cover payment themselves.

While occasional chair massages at work can be enjoyable for your employees, most of the financial and physical ROI will be seen in a longer term program, or more regular sessions. That’s because the positive effects of massage, both for the body and the mind, builds on itself session-by-session.

Amelia Wilcox

Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement.

Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.

Recently listed as a Forty Under 40, Fast 50, Inc 5000 Twice awarded National Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year

Licenses, Certifications & Memberships
Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002
Member of American Massage Therapy Association
Served on Utah Worksite Wellness Council from 2012-2015

Attended Utah College of Massage Therapy
Educated in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Utah

Massage Magazine (AMTA's publication)