5 Ways A Massage Break Encourages Workplace Innovation
No matter the industry, workplaces nationwide are advancing new employee wellness initiatives. In part, this is an effort to improve employee health and reduce medical care costs. But increasingly, employers are pursuing new policies to help spark workplace innovation.
Massage breaks are one popular addition to workplace wellness plans. And places of business that institute them are reaping the rewards. They’re enjoying increased employee, satisfaction, productivity, and creativity.
To find out why this is the case, check out these key ways that a massage break can help encourage innovation and progress in your workplace.
1. It Reduces Stress and Sparks Creativity
Over the last couple of years, you might have heard of a phenomenon called “brain fog”. Also called mental fatigue, it’s not a true medical condition itself. Rather, it’s a useful colloquialism to describe many types of cognitive dysfunction symptoms.
Brain fog tends to involve memory problems, a lack of mental clarity, poor concentration, and an inability to focus.
Any one of those symptoms can have negative effects on an employee’s ability to be productive or creative during work hours. And chronic stress is a leading cause of brain fog.
Stress can increase blood pressure, weaken the immune system, trigger depression, and cause sleep problems. All these symptoms can have a deleterious effect on a person’s mental acuity over time. That’s why reducing stress is a common goal for workplace wellness problems.
A 2020 study found that as little as ten minutes of massage can have a measurable effect on how stressed a person feels. With such strong effects in a short window, massage breaks are a particularly strong tool for helping manage workplace stress.
2. It Encourages Optimal Health
We touched on in brief that many employers are encouraging better health and wellness practices among staff. A lot of workplaces started implementing these policies ten or twenty years ago as a means to reduce costs from insurance and lost productivity. Healthy employees make fewer health claims and take fewer sick days, the logic followed.
But many early adopters found that improved wellness in the workplace also tends to contribute to a more effective workforce.
Chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease are unquestionable drains on a person’s quality of life. And prolonged sitting has links to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, insulin resistance, and metabolic syndrome.
Taking breaks at work helps to give employees a reprieve from the strains of sitting at a desk all day. An act as simple as getting up and walking for a few minutes helps cut down on overall sitting time.
But how they sit also affects their health. Poor posture compounds many of the issues associated with sitting for too long.
Massage helps rectify this by relaxing and loosening the muscles made sore by bad posture. This lets the body position itself in a more natural, pain-free posture.
3. It Improves Focus
Even if a person isn’t subject to an excess of stress, there still tend to be diminishing returns on their ability to focus the longer they’re set to a task. According to a University of Illinois study, small diversions are a great way to combat this dropoff in attention span.
You’ve probably experienced this phenomenon at some point yourself. For one example, suppose you scheduled a two-hour meeting with one of your teams. If you try to push through that engagement all in one sitting, you’ll tend to find that your ability to focus on the proceedings drops over time.
Scheduling small breaks during lengthy activities can help maintain focus throughout. Using that time to take even a brief massage break will only compound the benefits, helping make the best use of your time.
4. It Increases Productivity
Well-rested employees are effective employees. But for myriad reasons, many workers suffer from insufficient sleep.
According to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Health, 36.5 percent of workers reported short sleep duration. So if we extend national averages to your workforce, that means more than a third of your at working at reduced capacity at any given time.
This loss of sleep can have far-reaching consequences. Study author Taylor Shockey noted that loss of sleep is linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Accidents in the workplace or “drowsy driving” incidents during long commutes are likewise common outcomes.
By encouraging relaxation, reducing stress, and easing pain and stiffness, regular massage can help induce regular and restful sleep patterns.
Regular, high-quality sleep can help reduce the negative health outcomes noted in the aforementioned report as well as help ensure employees show up to work energized and ready to innovate.
5. It Encourages Employee Retention
The pandemic years have seen a huge decline in employee satisfaction. This issue is causing record turnover rates. According to one report, annual voluntary turnover is likely to jump nearly 20% this year.
It’s a multi-faceted problem employers are struggling to grapple with. But one standard we tend to see across all sectors is employee burnout.
Burnout is itself a multi-sided issue. But all of the factors we’ve contributed to thus far can help contribute to it.
Younger workers, in particular, tend to demand better work-life balance from their jobs. They also tend to value their health and favor workplaces that make them feel like a valued team member.
Providing workplace wellness initiatives like massage breaks are ways to combat health-related causes of burnout while communicating to team members that they are valued.
Workplace Wellness Brings Workplace Innovation
Workplace wellness programs will only be more important as time goes on. The average worker in 2022 is more concerned with their physical, mental, and emotional health than their forebears.
Employers who help them meet those wellness goals will be repaid in increased workplace innovation and productivity. To start reaping these dividends today, reach out to us to request a quote and schedule a booking.