The Importance of Eye Health in the Workplace

Regardless of the field or industry you work in, you will want your workplace to be productive and efficient. As such, a previous post listing tips for company success includes organizational tools that help employees better perform their jobs. These include traditional approaches like to-do lists and digital resources like Slack and Microsoft Teams, which allow employees to communicate and collaborate for priority projects and tasks.

However, another key driver of workplace productivity and performance is employee health and well-being. Specifically, employee eye health must be protected and maintained since good vision is crucial across all roles and professions. Below, we look closer at the link between eye health and workplace productivity while also outlining ways for employees to take better care of their eyes for better performance and overall health.

Key focus points to keeping healthy eyes while working.
The key focus points to keeping healthy eyes while working. Illustration: Amruta Awate.


The link between eye health and workplace productivity


As one of the five basic human senses, eyesight is important for employees to deliver their tasks accurately and on time. When employees cannot see well, they can be prone to making errors that otherwise cost time, energy, and other logistical resources to correct. For those in labor-intensive jobs like laboratory and manufacturing, such errors can even create hazards and compromise overall workplace health and safety.


Furthermore, the International Labor Organization reports the increasing prevalence of vision impairments among employees. About 13 million employees have vision issues like dry eye syndrome directly related to work, with 3.5 million cases of workplace injuries reported every year. Such cases not only cause pain and discomfort while at work but also significantly affect employees through increased absenteeism, sick days, and healthcare costs. Fortunately, workers’ eye health and overall wellness can be protected through the tips in the following section.


Eye care tips for employees


Use proper eyewear


Employees who work in industries exposed to hazards like heavy machinery, chemicals, and projectiles must use eyewear like safety goggles to protect their eyes and reduce the risk of injuries. Meanwhile, those with desk jobs must wear eyeglasses to minimize exposure to blue light emitted by screens, as it can contribute to eye symptoms like dryness and fatigue.

Besides blue light protection, these eyeglasses must also ensure a comfortable fit since they must be worn for prolonged periods in front of the computer. This is why it is best to buy glasses from established eyewear brands, as they are made with high-quality materials that have been vigorously tested. Eyewear brand Ray-Ban offers lightweight yet durable frames in various styles to suit different facial features and lifestyle preferences. These include the pilot-inspired Aviator, the browline Clubmaster, and the bold yet still office-appropriate Wayfarer Ease.

Maintain an Ergonomic Workspace


Ergonomics is also essential for eye care and wellness, as certain elements, like your working posture, can make a difference in managing eye strain and fatigue. So, make sure that you’re sitting upright at a comfortable distance from the monitor, with the screen slightly below eye level, to avoid straining your eyes, neck, and shoulders.

Another way to adjust workplace ergonomics is to reduce the glare coming from your screen. Besides tinkering with the device’s built-in screen settings, there are computer programs you can use to adjust the brightness based on your comfort level. For instance, the app QuickShade lets you dim the screen below the standard minimum brightness to prevent excessive squinting and straining on the eyes


Take regular breaks


Whether you work with chemicals, machinery, or electronic devices, focusing for extended periods can reduce the natural frequency of blinking and contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome. So, take regular breaks throughout the day to give yourself and your eyes an opportunity to rest and relax. You can even use this time to drink water and keep your eyes and the rest of your body well-hydrated.

Overall, incorporating these eye care practices into your daily work routine can help you reap the health and productivity benefits of having good vision.



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