Imagine spending the majority of your day staring at a screen, whether it’s a laptop or a smartphone. You start work (whether remotely or in-office) and spend almost seven hours of your usual 9-to-5 in front of your computer or laptop screen. Then, when it’s time to log off work, you most likely still spend the rest of your day either checking and answering email notifications from your phone or replying to work chats from your boss or clients. That amount of screen time may sound like a lot, but that’s the reality for most of your employees. This is why employers should take it upon themselves to promote eye wellness for their workforce.
Why Promoting Eye Wellness Matters
Maintaining Overall Health is Key to Good Performance
It’s no secret that employees who are healthy and comfortable in their work environment can produce better results than those who always feel burned out. Keeping employees engaged and healthy is an important responsibility of the employer since they’re the ones who will benefit greatly from better performance, such as improved customer experience and higher productivity rates.
When your employees are in a good mental and physical state, they’ll do better at work and take fewer sick leaves. Additionally, they’ll be better equipped to do things outside of work, leading to a more improved work-life balance.
Minimize Medical Costs by Funding Preventative Practices
It may be difficult to project now, but promoting eye wellness practices early on can save you and your company money in the long run. You get to prevent more serious eye diseases like corneal injury or even loss of vision. Addressing serious eye damage or diseases will cost you more than making the necessary adjustments to avoid them entirely. When you compare the high costs of operations and medication for serious eye injuries, you’ll appreciate the fact that you invested in preventative measures such as regular eye screenings and corrective lens allowances.
Prioritizing Your Main Assets’ Health While Attracting More Talent
Your company’s most valuable assets are not your computers or systems; they’re the people. By becoming an employer that doesn’t just care about the bottom line but also employee welfare, you’ll have a better chance at minimizing employee turnover. And when your current workforce is healthy and happy while producing great results, that can attract new talent. In a competitive job market, employers also have to gain the trust and favor of job seekers. What better way to do that than by having your current employees as ambassadors?
How to Promote Eye Wellness at Work (Simple Tips!)
Be Consistent with Your Internal Communications
It’s essential to always include an emphasis on overall well-being in your communications. Your Human Resources (HR) lead should integrate wellness, including eye wellness, into all internal communications. Consistency as well as practicing what you preach is key in making your eye wellness initiatives work. Make sure to integrate eye wellness into the following communications:
- Eye wellness tips on pre-uploaded desktop wallpapers
- HR weekly or monthly newsletters
- Town Hall or Organization-wide Announcements
- Departmental Meetings
- HR Announcements
- And Many More
Make Eye-Friendly Office Adjustments
It is critical to make changes to create a safer work environment for the entire body, not just the eyes. Employees will be more likely to perform well when they are at ease with their tools and work environment. Here are some simple adjustments you can make to help prevent digital eye strain among your employees:
- Allocate anti-glare screens for office computers or laptops. Anti-glare screens are great for cutting down on reflected light from computers or laptops. This helps prevent eye strain and discomfort when working.
- Computer screens should not be brighter or dimmer than the surroundings. Have adjustable lighting or make sure the screens’ brightness is easily adjustable. The computer screen should be aligned with the brightness of the office to avoid straining the eyes.
- Normalize eye wellness breaks. When it comes to any disease, prevention is always better than cure. In the case of eye issues, encouraging employees to take short breaks from their screens can go a long way. These breaks can range from the 20-20-20 rule of eye strain prevention or getting employees up and on their feet for simple “deskercises” that can rest their eyes and improve blood circulation.
- Keep moisture in the air. Consider installing air humidifiers and filters around the office. Doing so can help avoid dry eyes that can lead to irritation or even blurred vision. Make sure fans or air conditioners are not directly pointing at the employees, as a workplace with cold air being blown directly at one’s face for a long period of time results not only in dry eyes but an uncomfortable work environment.
- Adjust the height and distance of desks and office chairs. A computer screen should be at a minimum of 20 inches away from the user’s eyes, which is about an arm’s length away. This prescribed distance is dependent on the size of the screen. The bigger the screen, the farther it should be from the user. To avoid eye, neck, and back strain, the desk height should be adjusted in such a way that the screen is at eye level or 30 degrees below eye level. Anything more or less than that can make the user feel uncomfortable and be less productive.
Include Regular Eye Screenings in Your Medical Coverage
You may think that adding regular eye screenings or even covering your employees’ corrective lenses is expensive. However, this should be a basic part of your medical coverage. Preventative efforts help you avoid more serious damage to both your employees’ vision and your financial resources. Regular screenings can help detect possible eye diseases and address them early on, dodging the need for more costly operations or medication.
Make Screen Breaks Mandatory
There are some workers who find it hard to take a break when they’re “in the zone” and prefer to work for hours on end to finish a project. While that dedication and determination are praiseworthy, excessive screen time without breaks can lead to serious eye damage and even burnout.
As an employer, you may need to gently nudge your employees in the right direction. This can mean anything from enforcing a strict, screens-off policy during lunch and coffee breaks to having building-wide wellness breaks. You might think that practices like these can dampen productivity, but they can actually be helpful both for your business and your valued employees.
These simple practices allow them to take a breather and recharge their mind and body during their break times. Additionally, they can use this time for social interactions or catch up with their teammates, forging stronger work relationships.
When you’re too focused on the results, it may be difficult to notice the unhealthy practices that people engage in to achieve the company’s goals.
Taking a step back and assessing what can be done to help your employees perform better without sacrificing their mental and physical health is key to achieving real success. When you help your employees “see” better through genuine and tangible efforts, you in turn will begin to notice improved results in terms of customer satisfaction, product development, and eventually your bottom line.