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May 3, 2017 Amelia Wilcox

Massage Events and Their Effect on the Workplace

We often get questions like these from human resources professionals: What’s the big deal with massage events? Are they really worth it? Isn’t massage just a feel-good perk with no real business results? 

It’s common for HR leaders to have real questions about what massage events really are and what benefits they provide. So we want to cover it all — soup to nuts about what massage events are all about.   

Massage Events Overview: The Nitty Gritty Info

Let’s start with the basics – what exactly are massage events? 

Simply put, massage events are any company-organized affairs that provide some kind of massage services free of charge to their employees, or for a low cost. 

Everyone’s First Concern: Chair Massage Event Cost

Massage events aren’t free (usually), and the first question we always get is: How much will it cost? Most massage companies will clearly state their prices for different events. Cost will be determined by how long the event is and how many therapists are needed. You may get a discount by committing to a series of events, rather than a one-time thing. 

Related: Chair Massage Rates: How Much Does It Cost?

The additional cost of lost time at work is another thing to consider, though it may be harder to track. Some companies will provide chair massage sessions during employees’ regular break times, to avoid this loss. Other companies weigh the cost of the lost time against the improved office morale and consider it even.

To make an real financial return on investment, an office massage program must be repeated to be beneficial. Same goes for relaxation and morale boosting in the office — a one-time event massage feels good, but the effects don’t last forever. It could take 2-5 years of regular massage events to see a real financial difference. 

Related: Real ROI on Corporate Wellness: HR Experts Weigh In (video interview)

office chair massage events

Office Massage Event Uglies: When it Doesn’t Work

Not every business is suited to receive regular in-house chair massages. Companies with employees regularly out “in the field” have a harder time of gathering everyone in one place to receive such a benefit (construction companies, landscapers, etc.).

The very best place for an office chair massage is in a quiet, out-of-the-way office, which is just not the reality for every company. That’s not to say massages can’t happen in busy, noisy lunch rooms or hallways (we do it all the time), just that it won’t be as relaxing an experience as it might be. 

Related: Pros and Cons of Workplace Massage Programs: An Honest Review

Another very real concern is employees with health problems. There are some health concerns that mean not everyone can get massages, such as unregulated high blood pressure, recent injuries like sprained ankles or mild whiplash.

Some of these concerns need a go-ahead from a doctor before a therapist can legally give a massage — the therapist’s worst nightmare is to make a problem worse, which not only further injures the client but also can put the therapist’s license at risk. The best way to avoid this is for clients to honestly answer the therapist’s question before beginning the massage: “Do you have any health concerns or injures I should be aware of?” 

The Pros: When Corporate Massage Events Pay Off

The most obvious, and most immediate effect from a chair massage event is employee relaxation and boosted morale. This creates employees who become re-dedicated to the company and calms down the stress levels throughout the office. A one-time event can show employee appreciation; and a repeated event will make an impact on your company culture, productivity, and creativity.

Related: On-Site Massage: How Often is Often Enough?

With repeated massage events, employers can expect to see reduced sick leave and worker’s compensation claims, a lower rate of employee turn-over, and generally happier, healthier employees. Chair massage is becoming the new must-have employee appreciation service. 

Related: Corporate Chair Massage: 7 Steps to an Effective Massage Program

 office chair massage events

Effects of Chair Massage at Work: What HR Leaders Say

We could cite study after study that shows the benefits of regular massage, but we think it’s best if you hear it from other business owners. Here are some of our clients’ thoughts: 


massage event benefits

massage event benefits

massage event benefits

We hope we’ve answered all of your questions about massage events. If not, feel free to reach out to us in the comments! We look forward to hearing from you.

Editor’s Note:  This article was originally published in April 2015. It has revised and updated for accuracy.

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)