The Canadian Guide to Corporate Wellness Massage

How to ask your boss for a corporate wellness massage program

You’ve done your research, and you know about the Benefits of Corporate Wellness Massage for both the employee and the business. Now you’re ready to present a proposal. This article and template can help you articulate why your company should make chair massage part of its wellness program.

Your company's final decision-makers will be more likely to sign on to the program if you can outline the benefits for the company and help them understand how reasonable the costs for a chair massage program can be. If you haven’t already, you may want to discuss the possibility of a massage at work program with your co-workers to gauge interest and build excitement. You’ll be prepared with this valuable information in case you run into any road-block comments such as “No one would want a massage here at work”. It also shows you’ve done your homework!

Highlighting the benefits of corporate massage, the positive impact on the company and the team’s interest are great things to include when communicating to your decision makers. To help you get started we suggest using the following template as a starting point for your own letter.

A template for introducing your boss to chair massage:

Dear {Decision Maker},

I've been looking into ways for [Company Name] to demonstrate to the staff that the company acknowledges their contributions and truly cares about their health and wellbeing. I think we could accomplish this by offering everyone a relaxational chair massage once a month. I’ve taken an informal survey of the team to gauge interest and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Next month, instead of another team lunch, I’d like to propose that we reallocate those same funds toward something that would do wonders to boost morale. I propose we book a chair massage day.

A massage at work day is a way to thank the team and acknowledge them for their hard work. It’s also a great way to boost morale, energy, creativity, and productivity. It benefits each member of the team and the company overall. It’s a win-win. I think we’ll find that having a massage at work day is an excellent ROI!

Benefits to the employee include:

  • Creates a feeling of being valued and cared for
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Lowers stress
  • Helps with muscle pain and headaches
  • Increases circulation
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Improves flexibility
  • Increases sense of health and wellbeing

Benefits to the company include:

  • Improves morale and creates a positive corporate culture
  • Reduces stress and anxiety in the workplace
  • Reduces sick days and absenteeism
  • Reduces the high cost of employee turnover
  • Helps attract top talent to the company
  • Increases accuracy and creative thinking

I found a company called Massage At Work ( who specializes in corporate massage programs. They have rave reviews on Google, and have the most 5-star ratings of any corporate massage company in Canada.

Setting up the first massage day and running an ongoing program will be easy as Massage At Work provides all the tools and support we’ll need. They even offer online scheduling and automated text-reminders so no one misses their massage appointment.

If you are open to the concept of a Massage At Work day for our company please let me know and I’ll give Massage At Work a call to firm up cost and timing.

{Your signature}

And to prepare you for any push-back, here are the best answers to any major concerns your boss might have about having massage at work days in your office.

BUDGET: We don’t have the budget for a corporate massage program.

Budget concerns are quite often the greatest hurdle for many clients wanting to start a massage at work program. This is a legitimate concern, but there are some creative options! Before the idea is tossed aside for good, consider some of these creative ways around the funding issue:

  1. Use the corporate wellness budget. Billing massage days under this budget is an effective tactic. Stress reduction and improved immunity are just a couple of the many health benefits that massage offers. Because of this, many companies use their corporate wellness budget to finance the corporate massages for their employees.
  2. Combine budgets. If you’re putting together a large event like a health fair or holiday party, one option that works especially well is to combine budgets from more than one department to pay for the massages. Consider combining your: staff social budget, safety budget, and/or your health and wellness budget.

EMPLOYEES SHOULD PAY: We can do this, but only if the employees pay for it themselves

A common misconception for businesses looking to introduce chair massage is that a massage program can pay for itself by having employees pay for their own massages. Although having employees pay for their own chair massage sessions seems like a good way to provide the benefit of chair massage without costing the company anything, the approach has several major drawbacks and can often do more to lower employee morale than improve it.

  1. Employees don’t get a feeling of being cared for, or cared about when they have to pay for massage
  2. Employee-paid chair massage programs reach very few people and have low utilization
  3. Promoting an employee-paid program is awkward, and leaves the employees being sold-to
  4. Employee-paid massage programs squash morale.

For more reason’s why employee-paid massage programs are a bad approach, see our article on Why Employee-paid corporate massage programs fail.

SCHEDULING: Scheduling these massages is going to be a real headache, it’s too much work.

With the right in-office massage at work partner, scheduling shouldn’t be a hassle, nor should it be time-consuming.

  1. Online Scheduling & Tech Platforms. The best solution for scheduling is to find and hire a corporate massage company that has an online system to manage the entire massage program for you. They set up the schedule, send you a link, you broadcast it to your team and voila! Everyone signs up and manages their own appointment times. From appointment reminders via text and email, to custom email campaigns, to online and mobile booking apps this option has you covered.
  2. Sign-Up Sheets. Paper sign-up sheets are a popular option for smaller organizations. A designated person from your company is put in charge of sign-ups. An email goes out announcing the upcoming massage day, the list is posted at reception or in a common area for all to see and everyone signs up for their massage on the sheet. Easy as pie!

SECURITY: We’re a secure facility. We can’t have outside vendors coming in.

This is completely understandable, security is so important. It can be disappointing to have escalated your workplace massage proposal all the way to top management, only to have it shot down due to security concerns. A promise that you can obtain the following from your massage partner may be the assurance the boss needs.

  1. Background checks. Assigning specific massage practitioners to your location, then conducting third party background checks may be a security work around that would work for your organization.
  2. NDAs. Your massage partner and their practitioners should be willing to sign an NDA (non disclosure agreement).

24 HOUR FACILITIES: Our facility has staff working around the clock. What about the late and early morning shifts? We can’t offer it to some and not others. A nice idea, but this will never work.

An experienced massage at work partner will know how to make this work for you! The most effective way to work with 24 hour facilities, such as call centers, factories, and hospitals is to span the massage hours to overlap two different shifts, effectively reaching two shifts at once. For example, bringing in massage chairs early in the morning would cover the end of a night-shift and the beginning of a day-shift, for example.

SPACE: We don’t have enough room to do massage at work.

Each massage chair and practitioner requires just 6x6’ of space. An empty office or boardroom, or quite corner is usually sufficient. However, if finding even this little amount of space is an issue that may prevent you from having massage at work, it’s time to get creative!

Some ideas to consider:

  1. Have the massage practitioner go from person to person at their own desk. This way you don’t need any space for the massage chair. There is no set up, and no designated space needed.
  2. Take it outside! Setting up the massage chairs outside may be an option. A courtyard, building roof or nearby greenspace or park, anywhere in the open air can add a heightened level of relaxation and sense of “getaway” for your employees.

LIABILITY: What if something goes wrong. We can’t take on the liability involved with having massage at work.

Hiring individual massage therapists, monitoring certification, current registration status, and liability insurance coverage can get complicated. One way to avoid all this hassle, paperwork, and liability is to partner with a company who manages all of this for you. When choosing an established, experienced, massage company to partner with this shouldn’t be an issue because any company you hire should have substantial liability insurance. Simply ask for proof of insurance or a copy of their policy.

As extra peace of mind, you can ask to have your company added as an additional insured to the massage partner’s existing liability insurance policy.

EMPLOYEE BREAKS: The company can’t afford to have employees taking extra time away from their desks.

For company’s where the employees can literally not step away from their work, the simple solution is to have the massage performed right at their desk or work station.