For many, working from home was a completely new experience in 2020. Despite the stresses of the pandemic and the temptation of home-related tasks, studies have shown that productivity has increased for most employees working remotely. In fact, 74% of Canadian businesses believe working from home increased their employees’ productivity by at last 20%.* Because of this, many workplaces have decided to keep employees working from home or are using a hybrid model (working from home a few days per week).
However, working from home comes with its own issues since many people are working in rooms not meant for office work. All that increased productivity has meant fewer interruptions and short breaks common in a shared office environment and that has meant an increase in eyestrain. Eyestrain can cause headaches and dry eyes.
Here are a few ways you can protect your eyes while working from home.
1. Practice Perfect Posture
Working from home has, for many, led to some less-than-ideal posture issues which, in turn, has resulted in eyestrain and other eye issues. (We see you, working from your sofa with your laptop perched on your knees.) However, this isn’t the best setup for your eyes—or your back, legs, knees, hips, et cetera. For best results, sit in a chair that allows you to place your feet flat on the floor with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Your screen should be about 18 inches away and positioned a little lower than eye level so you’re looking slightly down instead of straight ahead or up. Your wrists should also not rest on your keyboard but be kept elevated—a wrist support for your keyboard and mouse can help with this.
2. Get Rid of the Glare
It’s also important to avoid glare on your screen as this can also lead to eyestrain, headaches or other discomforts. You may need to relocate your desk to a different position in the workspace—away from direct overhead lights or away from windows is usually best practice. You can also get an inexpensive anti-glare hood for your computer or a filter for your computer screen. You can also talk to us at your local Vogue Optical about anti-glare coatings for your glasses.
3. Remember the 20-20-20 Rule
One of the very best ways you can avoid eye strain is to look away from your computer screen every 20 minutes and focus on something out a window that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You can set a timer on your phone or your computer to remind you to do this.
4. Avoiding Dry Eyes
When we look at computer screens for long periods of time, we tend to blink far less than we should. You may need to consider a humidifier or eye drops, depending on the environment, the weather and what you use for heat in your workspace.
5. Your Lighting May Be Too Dim—or Too Bright
Not that office lighting is known for being great (giant overhead fluorescent lights anyone?) but your home office lighting may also be causing your eyes to work overtime. Depending on your lighting setup, you may need to increase or decrease the brightness on your computer screen so that it is most comfortable for you and your workspace.
Eyes still giving you some trouble while working from home? Talk to us at Vogue Optical to see if we can help.