Free Massage and Yoga Classes at Work: Are the '90s Staging a Comeback?

This article from Reuters covers an increasing trend among the companies of providing their employees with high-end luxury services such as massage and yoga classes. So is this a return to the 90's all out competition between companies to see which could be more outlandish with regard to employee perks. Not really.

While the uptrend in the economy does appear to be making companies once again conscious of their need to compete for top talent, the major motivation appears to be the realization by corporate management that happy and health employees are far more productive than a bunch of worker drones that suffer from the general malaise associated with cubicle-land.

Once thought to be only for aging hippies, yoga and massage are now both enjoyed by a wide cross-section of Americans. The health benefits of both are well-documented. Research shows massage can lower stress, tension and fatigue, and one study in the International Journal of Neuroscience even showed people given massage therapy proved more alert and calculated math problems faster and more accurately.

While calculation of the bottom-line monetary value of such programs is difficult, companies that have implemented such programs report decreased rates of absenteeism and attrition. And these are the two highest "avoidable" labor expenses in many companies.