As the modern worker spends more time in front of a screen and under dim and excessive lighting conditions, research evidence is indicating that eye strain and visual stress problems are also trending as a workplace issue. Getting ahead of this curve and offering workers solutions for reducing eye strain can do more than keep your team clear and focused – it also helps keep an eye on your bottom line.
“Accommodating your team with best practices and techniques for reducing fatigue from eye strain can potentially save employers more than $2,000 per year per employee,” says Donloree Hoffman, Human Resources Manager for CDI Spaces. “A recent study revealed that more than 79% of employees encountered visual disturbances that added to their eye strain – and more than half stated that they had to take multiple breaks during the day to make screen time more comfortable.”
Dim and excessively bright work environments are impacting more than profitability. It’s now verging on becoming a global health epidemic. A new survey out of China states that rates of myopia or nearsightedness – once considered to be a condition reserved for older adults – has approximately doubled as more young people struggle to see clearly. As more reports surface, mounting evidence also suggests that work-induced activities, such as reading digital files or using smartphones, adds to eye strain and increases the risk for myopia.
If dim and excessive lighting wasn’t bad enough, studies also reveal that blue light from monitors and screens can turn into visual stress disguised as a headache or sleepless night. The majority of the modern world now typically settles down to bed with a smart device in our hand to catch up with our day. The blue light that emits from the screen confuses the eye at night and tricks you into thinking it’s daytime. This results in a myriad of eye strain problems from suppressing melatonin secretion to throwing a monkey wrench into our circadian rhythms or sleeping patterns.
So, what can you do to effectively remove lighting issues and reduce eye strain in your workspace? Start with simple and small changes such as emphasizing natural sunlight. Swap out your cool or bright fluorescent lights and add traditional incandescent or warm white fluorescent bulbs instead. Calibrate your screen to match brightness levels across your monitor and workspace – or avoid low contrast pairings of text and background colour preferences. Most importantly, don’t forget the medical community saying of “sunlight is the best optometrist.” Get up and go for a walk outside – your eyes and your mind will thank you for it.
We are only going to see increased screen time and computer usage in the coming years. By addressing potential workspace lighting issues and reducing eye strain, you are providing more than visual stress relief for your team – you are also providing them with proof of a workspace that is easy on the eyes.