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How to Minimize Eye Strain and Boost Productivity

Increasing employee productivity is one of the most critical goals in business and remains a high priority for facility managers. High-performing and innovative employees are the cornerstone of a successful company. That is why it’s important to keep employees happy and healthy! In fact, a study from the Health Enhancement Research Organization found that healthy employees are 25% more likely to have better job performance.

As the focus on productivity increases, so does the screen time of employees – averaging more than five hours a day. Negative side effects of this screen time on vision and ocular health can impede productivity. According to The Vision Council, an independent authority in the optical industry, 65% of Americans report symptoms of digital eye strain, including headaches, tiredness, and dry eye – all proven to inhibit efficiency.

Facility managers and owners can prevent these negative side effects and maximize employee efficiency by encouraging occupants to follow these tips:

  • Use the 20-20-20 rule. Sustained exposure to digital devices negatively impacts performance and tires the eyes. This is an issue experienced by 65% of Americans. As a solution to this daily problem, employees should adhere to the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes reading or working on a screen, take a break and focus on an object at least 20 feet away and keep it clear for at least 20 seconds. This gives the eyes an opportunity to refocus and blink at a more regular rate.
  • Enlarge text size. Many Americans across the country suffer from Computer Vision Syndrome, which increases the likelihood of headaches and eye fatigue. Computer Vision Syndrome can be addressed by encouraging employees to enlarge text size on their computer, smartphone or tablet. Employees should also adjust contrast, making text more readable and make sure they are wearing glasses specifically prescribed for the task at hand if necessary.
  • Rearrange. Despite crammed cubicles, employees can get creative and reorganize their workspace. Average size monitors should be at least 20-40 inches (an arm’s length is a great estimate) away from eyes. This decreases eye strain for employees, ensuring a more productive work environment. Employees should also adjust their screen to slightly below eye level in order to relax the eyes. It is also important to match device brightness levels to the lighting in the room in order to ease eye strain.  Employees should brighten and dim monitors to correspond to ambient lighting coditions. 
  • Consider computer eyewear. If employees wear corrective eyewear for blurred vision, they should consider specifically prescribed computer eyewear in order to protect against digital eye strain.  Computer lenses can reduce glare and amplify contrast, making it easier for employees to look at screens for extended periods of time.
  • Consult a trusted optometrist. Employees with existing vision issues including myopia, astigmatism or presbyopia are at increased risk for digital eye strain. In order to ensure vision problems don’t impact work or academic performance, encourage occupants to discuss their condition with an optometrist by scheduling an annual eye exam.   

You can follow the above tips in order to improve employee performance and increase overall company productivity. By doing so, you’ll ensure additional success in your business and happiness among tenants of your building. 

Dr. Beatty is an optometrist and vice president of professional services at MyEyeDr., he can be reached at

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