How about a massage with your meeting?

Almost 1.7 million Australian employees will work more than 49 hours this week, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

With more Australians now owning laptops (77 per cent of the population) and smartphones (two-thirds of the population), work is never far away.

Constant connectivity leads to higher stress levels and today's workforce and health industry is responding with in-office yoga and fitness studios, mobile massage and mental health day incentives.

The Chinese already know the appeal of mixing business and relaxation in an effort to balance the yin and the yang.

Liangzi Health Oasis's Chinese operation has more than 500 massage and reflexology spas with business meeting rooms, and is hoping the 'business recreation' trend catches on down under.

Last year it opened its first Australian 'oasis' in Haymarket, Sydney.

The idea is simple: book a private VIP or corporate room with large reclining armchairs set up for two to eight people for a meeting.

Sit back and relax while a reflexology therapist attends to each delegate's feet with an hour-long foot and lower leg massage. Add free wi-fi, a complimentary fruit plate for delegates and a bento box lunch or dinner. There's also a flat screen TV to watch presentations or a live sports game.

Liangzi Health Oasis says nearly 60 per cent of its customers are businesspeople, who either come in alone for a massage at the end of a long day or use the centre as a novel way to do business.


Some choose to use the lounge meeting space to strike a deal first and then retreat to private massage rooms to relax, while others choose to take their laptop in to the exclusively booked reflexology room and combine the two.

Packages start from $100 per person.

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development Better Life Index released last year, ranked Australia at 29 out of 35 countries when it came to work/life balance. Australians worked an average of 1693 hours per year, more than 500 hours over the average 1176 hours.

It is then not surprising that Safe Work Australia says that mental stress costs Australian businesses more than $10 billion per year due to loss of productivity and work absence. Much of this mental stress is directly related to work stress.

Employees at Australian company Blackmores walk the wellness talk.

In a bid to help staff achieve a healthy work/life balance, the company's headquarters (known as Blackmores Campus) in Warriewood, Sydney, boasts a fitness centre, gymnasium, yoga studio, 25-metre lap pool and a day spa.

Blackmores team members can enjoy massage, reflexology and naturopath consultations as well as pampering beauty treatments. Treatments range from 15 minutes to an hour and work around staff work schedules and family commitments.

“We also ensure that one of our treatment rooms is available for staff  throughout the week for 'quiet-time'," says Blackmores spokesperson Tiffany Elvy.

A ping-pong table has recently been introduced to encourage staff to "get active and social".

Many overseas companies are also offering healthy staff benefits.

Media company Centro's Chicago headquarters has free yoga classes, daily 15-minute meditations and yearly wellness check-ups. Cisco, also in the US, offers an on-site medical and wellness centre for its employees, including acupuncture and chiropractic treatments.

Google is known for creating a fun environment for its employees around the world. On-site fitness centres and massage therapy are offered at many Google headquarters along with wholesome healthy lunches and dinners.

Climbing walls are a feature at Google in Boulder, Colorado, and bicycles are ridden in hallways in the Netherlands.

San Francisco company Asana, which builds collaboration and communication software, offers its team yoga, reiki, shiatsu massage and even a nap room.

Further north, Canada's TELUS communications company offers on-site screening clinics for breast cancer and national screening for blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose. Seven TELUS offices boast on-site fitness and yoga centres with massage therapists and naturopaths.