Digital Eyestrain and Light Sensitivity: Eyeing Up Two Factors Taking a Toll on Employee Productivity
2019 Transitions Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits Survey Reveals Strong Desire for Premium Vision Benefits
PINELLAS PARK, Fla., February 6, 2019 – Nearly all employees (98 percent) say that “seeing well at work” is important to them; yet new research finds that today’s employees aren’t seeing as well as they could be—and it’s making a big difference in how they both feel and perform on the job.
According to the 10th annual Transitions Optical Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits survey, eight in 10 employees are bothered by vision-related symptoms at work—ranging from eye fatigue and headaches (half of employees), to dry eyes and blurred vision (more than one in three employees). The survey uncovered two factors specifically—digital eyestrain and light sensitivity—that have been linked with these symptoms and are contributing to further problems, such as lost productivity.
Implications of Digital Eyestrain and Light Sensitivity
Six in 10 employees overall frequently experience digital eyestrain in the workplace. While a problem for all employees, it is more common among younger generations, who continue to make up a larger portion of today’s workforce. Millennials are the most likely to say they frequently experience digital eyestrain (seven in 10)—with one in five saying they experience it all the time at work.
Similarly, more than half of employees (54 percent) frequently experience light sensitivity in the workplace—with half (47 percent) also saying that light sensitivity negatively impacts their ability to do their job on a regular basis. Younger employees were more likely to say this as well—with one in five Gen Z and Millennial employees saying that they experience light sensitivity at work all the time, and an equal amount saying it negatively impacts their job performance.
When asked how light sensitivity and digital eyestrain affect them at work, employees said they are affected in many ways.
- Four in 10 say they are less productive than they could be.
- Three in 10 say light sensitivity and digital eyestrain make them unable to focus.
- One in three takes more breaks throughout the day because of these factors.
While the vast majority of employees say they have taken steps to protect their eyes from light sensitivity and digital eyestrain at work—including dimming the brightness on their screen; limiting their screen time; and dimming lights in their workplace—the survey revealed that most employees are not taking advantage of simple solutions that are covered by many premium vision plans: wearing the right eyewear. Few employees reported taking steps, such as wearing lenses with anti-reflective or no-glare coatings (one in five employees overall), wearing photochromic or adaptive lenses (just over one in 10 employees overall) and wearing lenses with a blue light filter (one in 10 employees overall).
“Addressing digital eyestrain and light sensitivity in the workplace is becoming more important than ever for today’s employers—especially with research revealing that 44 percent of employees are more concerned about light sensitivity than they have been in previous years,” said Drew Smith, director, North America channels, Transitions Optical. “There are very simple steps employers can take to address these issues—with the most important one being to offer a vision benefits plan that covers eyewear options to alleviate these common visual problems, followed closely by ongoing education about the importance of sight-enhancing eyeglass lens options.”
Employees Want Premium Vision Benefits
When selecting eyewear, an overwhelming 94 percent of employees say that premium lens options are important to them—making vision plans that cover these a key differentiator for employers. Among the most desired premium lens options include:
- Scratch-resistant lenses: 73% of employees
- Anti-reflective or no-glare coatings: 71% of employees
- Photochromic lenses, like Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™: 43% of employees
- Blue light protection: 35% of employees
Employees showed a specific interest in vision plan coverage of photochromic lenses—which adapt their level of darkness and tint to enhance vision in changing lighting conditions. In fact, eight out of 10 employees said they would be more likely to enroll in or keep using a vision plan if it covered options like Transitions lenses. Furthermore, the survey uncovered that brand name does matter. More than six in 10 employees (64 percent) say it’s important that their vision plan covers authentic Transitions® brand lenses, as opposed to other photochromic brands.
To help elevate the importance of comprehensive eye exams and quality eyewear available through vision benefits, Transitions Optical offers a variety of employee and employer focused tools and education. These can be accessed, free of charge, at HealthySightWorkingforYou.org.
About Transitions Optical
Transitions Optical is the leading provider of photochromic (smart adaptive) lenses worldwide, having been the first to successfully manufacture and commercialize plastic adaptive lenses in 1990. As a result of its relentless investment in research, development and technology, Transitions Optical offers a wide variety of eyeglass lens and shield products, setting new standards of advanced performance to provide ever increasing visual comfort and optimum harmful blue light protection, and always blocking 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
Light sensitivity negatively affects HALF of employees in the workplace. Learn more: Tweet
Product leadership, consumer focus, and operational excellence have made the Transitions® brand one of the most recognized consumer brands in optics. For more information about the company and Transitions® Light Intelligent Lenses™, visit Transitions.com or TransitionsPRO.com.
1 2019 Transitions Employee Perceptions of Vision Benefits Survey conducted online in January 2019 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.
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