Eye Care in the Workplace: Key Tips for Maintaining Employee Vision

Though it may not seem like something businesses should be worried about, employee eye health should be a key concern for employers. According to the World Health Organization, visual impairments like nearsightedness cost global economic systems $411 billion annually in productivity alone. After all, getting things done is more challenging if you can’t see what you’re doing or are experiencing visual pain or discomfort.

Yes, eye health is primarily something employees should take care of on their own. However, you’ll want to help them as much as possible in the office to improve their access to treatments and vision-friendly facilities. In doing so, you can more quickly minimize and prevent eyesight-related productivity losses. Here are a few things you can try to get started.

Employee eyewear

Add vision insurance to employee health benefits

Cost is the primary reason Americans don’t care for their eyes. That’s why it can help to add vision insurance to any existing health coverage you provide employees. That will allow them to lower out-of-pocket eye care expenses for preventative measures like eye exams. If they need vision correction, this coverage will also let them buy glasses from online catalogs that sell cheap frames and prescription lenses. That’s especially true if you use providers like Humana and EyeMed, which accept claim forms from affordable retailers for speedy reimbursement. Aside from improving access to eye care services and helping maximize workplace productivity, adding this to your benefits package can attract and retain more employees looking for more comprehensive health insurance.

Prioritize ergonomic design in the workplace

An uncomfortable workstation can lead to health conditions that hinder productivity, including neck and back pain or repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. The same goes for the eyes. Employees working desk jobs are more likely to experience computer vision syndrome (CVS), which causes dry, itchy, or red eyes, blurred vision, and even headaches. Avoid this by prioritizing ergonomic office design.

Check if your desks are big enough for employees to place computer monitors at least 25 inches away from their faces. You can also provide laptop and monitor stands that place screens at eye level. Even maximizing natural or artificial light in the office by using windows or LED bulbs will ensure their devices are as bright as their surroundings. Otherwise, their eyes will strain more to see what’s on-screen when working in darker office environments.

Ensure employees use protective eyewear

Protective eyewear is crucial in high-risk working environments, primarily construction sites and science laboratories. Here, individuals are vulnerable to flying debris and chemicals entering and damaging their eyes. That makes procuring safety glasses for employees crucial for employers wanting to follow key protocols set and promoted by OSHA. The same goes for companies that work in traditional office settings, where such eyewear can help boost the protection ergonomic workplace designs provide.

In particular, buying or recommending blue light glasses for employees can help shield them against the artificial blue light emitted by screens, which can cause strain and lead to CVS. The Eye Protect Systemâ„¢ offered in OPSM glasses features daily UV protection and blue-light violet filtering in an aesthetically clear lens. This helps protect employees’ eyes, whether they go out in the sun or stay logged on in front of their screens for hours. Protecting employee vision can maintain overall productivity and avoid costly medical expenses.


Educate your workforce on eye health

Even if you provide employees with the above eye care resources, they may not use them if these resources are inadequately explained or communicated. According to Primary Care Optometry News, many Americans struggle to understand vision-related health information. Make things easier by setting aside some time to talk to them about eye health, its importance in the workplace and for their overall well-being, and how they can use the aid you’re providing to maintain good eyesight. Aside from sharing how they can make the most of their ergonomically designed workstations, you can also offer tips on how best to use protective eyewear and explain how to take advantage of vision insurance when getting eye exams, glasses, or contacts.

Eye health is vital for workplace productivity and employee satisfaction. If you want to increase morale in the workplace, it dramatically helps to consider your employees as your most valuable assets, which includes caring for their health, wellness, and safety. Although eye safety may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, your employees will appreciate it in the long term.