Amidst ever-evolving hybrid work models, HR leaders looking to elevate the employee experience should look no further than workplace wellness initiatives and vision insurance plans. Putting eyecare at the core of healthcare benefits and taking proactive measures — such as educating employees on the importance of vision health to overall wellness — can give HR leaders a significant opportunity to enhance employee productivity.
Since the pandemic began, where and how employees work has changed, affecting their eye health. Currently, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, and 28.2% have adapted to a hybrid work model. Most notably, by 2025, an estimated 32.6 million Americans will be working remotely, which equates to about 22% of the workforce. These stats represent the continued normalization of remote work environments.
[RELATED: Join us on October 16 for Ragan’s FREE webinar with Transitions, Elevating the Employee Experience.]
With more employees working from home full-time or operating on a hybrid schedule, visual demands are increasing as they will likely spend more time staring at some kind of screen all day. A 2020 Informa Tech report found total internet hits surged between 50% and 70%. Also, 57% of U.S. consumers report spending more time in front of screens compared to the worst part of the pandemic[i]. Adults spend 13+ hours daily on digital devices, a 35% increase since 2019.
As technology has taken up a larger space in employees’ lives, uncomfortable vision issues like eyestrain — a condition caused by intense visual focus like when looking at a computer screen for an extended period — affect employee wellbeing and productivity.
New research from Ragan in partnership with Transitions Optical found vision issues affect 70% of employees’ productivity — slowing them down, distracting them, and sometimes even wholly preventing them from working. Additionally, almost half of those who say vision issues prevent them from doing their jobs follow a work-from-home model and are likely to spend more time staring at screens than their counterparts. An All About Vision survey found total screen time for remote workers eclipses their in-office peers by more than two hours.
Employee wellness and its relation to increased productivity emphasizes the importance of incorporating vision care into a workplace wellness program — especially as almost half of employees agree that the top way to improve their overall productivity and quality of work would be to take breaks to rest their eyes and prevent eyestrain[ii].
Annual comprehensive eye exams, typically included in a vision benefits plan, not only identify common problems with vision but can also detect eye diseases and overall severe health issues earlier to help ensure better outcomes.
Register for the free webinar from Ragan in partnership with Transitions Optical on Monday, October 16, 2023, from 1 to 2 p.m. ET to learn more about how vision care and employee wellness go hand in hand.
Jonathan Orsmby is senior manager of U.S. Managed Care at Transitions Optical
[i] Transitions Optical, Global Consumer Sentiment and Behavior, Multi-country survey (AR, AU, CO, FR, IT, SG, ZA, UK, US), Q4 2021, People Research, N=4,586 Rx wearers.
[ii] Transitions Optical, 2022 Workplace Wellness Survey, Wakefield Research, N=1,300 U.S. adults, ages 18+, employed full-time, part-time or self-employed, whose employer offers vision benefits.