PINELLAS PARK, Fla., Feb. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all employees (92%) say that having workplace wellness initiatives are important, but new research released today finds that far fewer of their employers (just 60%) are actually offering these initiatives—and its impacting productivity, quality of work and overall health.
According to the new Transitions Optical Workplace Wellness Surveyi, employees say the top way to improve their overall productivity and quality of work would be encouragement by employers to take breaks to rest their eyes and prevent eyestrain. Half of all employees agree that taking this step is critical—followed by receiving financial assistance for fitness programs (45%) and getting catered lunches (40%). Despite this, fewer than one-third of employers are encouraging these types of wellness initiatives.
The value placed on resting eyes makes sense—considering nearly all employees (99%) say that seeing well at work makes it easier to do their job (i.e., being able to read their screens without straining their eyes or being bothered by light or glare). Despite this, almost three-quarters of employees say they frequently experience digital eyestrain in the workplace—with 8 in 10 saying they experience negative symptoms from looking at a screen all day. These symptoms include eyestrain, back, neck and shoulder pain and headaches.
Furthermore, lack of natural lighting and bright, fluorescent lighting are also negatively impacting the ability for employees to perform their best. And, when employees do take a break, they are still looking at their screens—doing activities such as texting (65%), checking email (61%) and looking at social media (52%). With employees saying that workplace eye health would boost productivity and overall health—and particularly younger generations who are making up an increasing portion of the workplace—the opportunity is ripe to arm employers with the tools they need to implement a successful workplace wellness program, including offering comprehensive vision benefits plans that cover premium eyewear options.
Steps to Protect Eyes at Work
While eight in 10 employees say they have taken measures to protect their eyes from digital eyestrain (such as dimming screen brightness, limiting screen time and dimming lights in their workplace), few employees are taking advantage of simple ways to further protect their eyes. Though many comprehensive vision plans offer full or partial coverage of eyewear options to help protect the eyes and enhance vision, just 22% of those surveyed wear lenses with anti-reflective coating, 16% wear lenses with a blue-light filter, and only 15% wear photochromic lenses, which automatically adapt their level of tint to changing ultraviolet (UV) light and offer additional protection from harmful blue light and glare, both indoors and out, such as Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™.
"Today's workforce is savvier than ever when it comes to overall health and wellness, and they know protecting their eyes is crucial—especially as screen usage continues to increase," said Drew Smith, director, North America channels, Transitions Optical. "Employers can—and should—take simple measures to implement wellness programs in their offices, such as encouraging their employees to take breaks to rest their eyes. In addition, offering a vision benefits plan that covers eyewear options to correct common visual problems, and offering ongoing education about sight-enhancing eyeglass lens options, are all steps to address the needs of today's employees."
See Well, Work Well with Premium Vision Benefits
Employees not only need vision benefits—they want them, and they're more likely to engage with employers who offer them. In fact, nearly two in three employees say they would be more likely to accept a job offering vision benefits. Brand name matters, as well. Eight in 10 employees say they'd be more likely to enroll in or keep a vision plan that covers eyewear options like Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™. And, seven in 10 say it's important to have authentic Transitions® brand lenses covered by their company's vision plan. Among the most desired premium lens options include:
- Anti-reflective or no-glare coatings: 62% of employees
- Scratch-resistant lenses: 62% of employees
- Photochromic lenses, like Transitions lenses: 37% of employees
- Blue light protection: 31% of employees
Older generations are especially interested in these types of premium lenses, with six in 10 Gen X employees and seven in 10 Boomers wanting no-glare coatings. This is an opportunity to reach and educate younger generations about the benefits these types of lenses bring, and also encourage them to get a yearly eye exam. The Workplace Wellness survey revealed nine in 10 employees say they're likely to get a comprehensive eye exam in the next year—but only half of Gen Z employees are very likely. With these workers showing interest in eye health, now is the time to keep them informed and engaged.
To help elevate the importance of comprehensive eye exams and quality eyewear available through vision benefits, Transitions Optical offers a variety of broker, employee and employer focused tools and education. These can be accessed at HealthySightWorkingforYou.org.
i 2020 Transitions Workplace Wellness Survey conducted online in January 2020 by Wakefield Research on behalf of Transitions Optical among 1,300 nationally representative U.S. adults, ages 18+, who are employed full-time or part-time and whose employers offer vision benefits.
SOURCE Transitions Optical