Q: My staff has been working at breakneck pace lately. They deserve time off, but I don't want them to leave the office.
A: Rub your employees the right way by hiring massage therapists to come to your office and provide hands-on healing. Even the most disgruntled workers wind up smiling. "It's a real morale booster," says Art Jacobson, who, along with his wife, owns the New York Massage Company (212-427-8175; $60 per hour per therapist). "There isn't one company that shouldn't do this." Tension, stress, eye strain, backaches -- it all adds up. Ten-to-fifteen-minute massages can alleviate some of the worst aches and pains. "It pays dividends, too," adds Jacobson. "Not only will your employees love you, but they'll work harder, too."
Already well-known for her traditional deep-tissue and trigger-point massages, Knead-a-Break Enterprises (212-460-1879; $70 per hour per therapist) owner Laurie Towers also brings her business right to the client. "Manhattan is such a high-stress area," says Towers. "We're perfect for people who don't have time to take their clothes off and then get back to the office." She also teaches clients different stretches to do at their desk as well as ways to make work areas ergonomically correct. Towers targets people "who do ten different things at once with the phone cradled between their ear and neck," explaining that such bad behavior leads to painful muscle spasms and, potentially, prolonged absences from work.
Robin Segal, owner of Back-to-Work (212-696-9069; $60 to $75 per hour per therapist), says many of her clients are Internet start-ups that are trying to keep their overworked employees from snapping. At one dot-com, she found herself giving massages in a glassed-in conference room even as a meeting with investment bankers proceeded in the adjacent room: "They taped fabric over the windows so the investors couldn't see what they were doing with the money!" A massage is the one time at work during which you can nod off with impunity. "Drool is our biggest compliment!" she says.