Taking a tactile approach

SOME employers are increasing productivity and employee loyalty by bringing massage therapists in to the workplace on a weekly basis.

Employees at call centre B Clear and Simple have enjoyed a weekly massage since the business began three years ago and, according to customer relation-ship manager Steve Mitchinson, it was one of the strategies the company used to keep employees happy and, therefore, more productive.

“There is no question that it’s an occupational health and safety benefit,” Mr Mitchinson said.

The massages are between five and 10 minutes long and are conducted while the employees are working.

WA Homeloans introduced massages to its call centre in July 2000 and, according to managing director Tim Holmes, the massages increase staff wellbeing but do not interrupt working time.

“Our staff receive between seven and 15 minute head and neck massages on a fortnightly basis. Staff continue to work or answer calls in our busy call centre while receiving their massage,” Mr Holmes said.

“The fortnightly massages have made a significant difference in overall staff morale and stress levels, without staff having even having to stop their work.”

Telequity employee relations officer Jai Bartlett said the nature of the call centre meant it was essential the massages were done while the employees were working.

“It’s an employee benefit. It makes people more comfortable and it increases productivity. It also creates the perception that we care about our employees,” Ms Bartlett said.

Corporate Touch director Sandra Despard said the service was now being used by a broad range of companies and industries.

“It’s everywhere. When they come in on ‘massage day’ they are already relaxed and looking forward to it and when we leave they are in a good mood,” she said.

On-site Stress Management sales and marketing coordinator Samantha Holl agreed that there had been an increase in demand for on-site massages.

“Companies are realising the benefits of what we do. It reduces absenteeism and stress, it keeps staff happy and, by being happy, they come to work in a good frame of mind and are more productive,” Ms Holl said.

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