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Research of UK employers earlier this year indicated not only a link between workplace eyecare and health and wellbeing, but also with productivity. Jim Lythgow, of optician Specsavers, argues that the benefits of eyecare go beyond meeting statutory requirements.
Boosting productivity is one of the most vital elements in making an organisation more successful. In 2015, Business Secretary Sajid Javid stated that the “economic challenge of our time” is increasing Britain’s productivity (BIS, 2015).
For many years, optometrists have extolled the wider benefits of eyecare. While most people visit the optician to have their eyesight checked, much more is possible through an eye examination. Not only can the health of the eye itself be assessed, but the optician is able to detect conditions affecting the whole body, including diabetes, high blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
Research undertaken by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare has now taken this one step further to indicate the link that employers see between workplace eyecare and health and wellbeing (Specsavers Corporate Eyecare/EMedia, 2015). Furthermore, it has even suggested a link between eyecare at work and productivity.
In the independent research among 158 heads of UK companies and organisations, representing a minimum of 300,000 staff, the following question was asked: “Eyecare helps with the detection and monitoring of serious health conditions relating to the whole body. Do you believe that having an eyecare policy helps with the overall health and wellbeing of your staff?”.
Seventy-nine per cent of employers said they believe eyecare helps with the overall wellbeing of their employees.
And when asked: “As eyecare can help to reduce issues like eyestrain, tiredness and headaches for ‘screen users’, do you believe eyecare can help to increase productivity at work?”. A significant 84% replied that yes, eyecare can help to increase productivity.
Further to the link to productivity, 23% of employers stated that they believe eyecare in the workplace improves the morale of employees. Indeed, eyecare would seem to have moved on significantly from being an obligatory requirement to being understood and valued as an employee benefit, capable of giving enormous value for money. Backing up this theory, just 1% of the employers surveyed believed the benefits of eyecare at work lay in meeting statutory requirements.