Why Massage Matters to Google

The Value of Workplace Wellness Programs

When Zappos called us to provide weekly on-site corporate chair massage for Zappos employees, first off: we were flattered. Sure, Body Connection was the obvious choice having been the leader in chair massage in Vegas since 1996.

But beyond being honored we were really excited. Let’s face it: wouldn’t you be intrigued to step behind the corporate veil of a company whose core values include “Create fun and a little weirdness?”

the massage team at zapposWe could hardly wait to witness the unusual work environment and perks we’d heard rumors about: the intermingling of work and play, the foosball, mini-golf and ping pong right in the middle of the office!. The free meals – Can you believe it? Grilled Cheese for everyone! And did they really have a nap room with sleep pods? This was a huge turning point in the arc of corporate culture and here we were about to become part of that story.

The most exciting thing for us was that, maybe for the first time we felt a company understood the value of massage as much as we did. Now, up to this point we’d been supplying chair massage, reflexology and oxygen bar for Health Fairs and Wellness events to local and international companies for years. But those were often annual events that coincided with open enrollment for health insurance.  Trotting out a chair massage therapist once a year was one thing, but weaving it into your companies’ philosophy was completely different.

Companies like Google, Cisco Systems, Twilio and Zappos have set the trend for wellness at work. Are they just daring to be different for daring’s sake, or do they know something that other companies’ don’t? I can’t speak for them, or the other forward thinkers who provide health-centered perks to employees on a regular basis, but here are some thoughts about why massage matters to big tech companies.

Massage Shows that a Company Cares: While a company can’t reach out and give you a big hug or a pat on the back, they can convey the same sense of care by offering massage to employees who want it.

Investment in Caring has ROI: Investment in perks like massage, reflexology or yoga does have return on investment – if it succeeds in making workers feel supported. At Google, employee satisfaction rose 37% as a result of investment in non-financial employee support initiatives.

Happy Employees Make Better Workers: A recent study from University of Warwick found happy workers to be 12% more productive and unhappy workers 10% less productive.

Perks are Cost Efficient for both companies and employees. It’s cheaper to provide perks than cash salaries or bonuses. Goods and services such as massage for employees are not taxed twice.

It’s Good to Get out of your Head – Scientific American has documented many recent studies in an article, Why your Brain Needs more Downtime. that “corroborate the idea that our mental resources are continuously depleted throughout the day and that various kinds of rest and downtime can both replenish those reserves and increase their volume”.

If you need more proof on the value of workplace massage, give us a call and let’s conduct our own little experiment.