In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country are working from home at unprecedented levels.
Although remote work has been on the rise for some time now, up until the pandemic, the trend was relatively low.
COVID-19 changed all of that as states enacted stay-at-home orders, and companies moved to telework to help slow the spread of the virus.
We held an interview with Mark Muoki, The Talent hunter and Hiring manager in East Africa for Lapaire Group, who says that the majority of hiring managers plan to keep more of their workforce remote going forward.
“With this factor in mind, we believe that remote work is hastening a shift that reduces hiring, screening, and monitoring costs for managers and lessens burdens on workers to understand firm-specific context. A few important changes have brought us here.
First, we’ve seen a mindset shift around remote work. Hiring managers for remote positions are now more comfortable interfacing with people they have not met personally, opening the door to work from anywhere and to ﬂexible hiring. Second, companies have invested in virtual communications tools (e.g., video calls and screen sharing) that make it easier to troubleshoot problems remotely and give outside workers a way to interface and get or give feedback. Third, remote work and tools like Slack have forced companies to better define tasks, codifying processes and specifications, making it easier to write specifications that a worker with little
firm-specific knowledge can understand, which can enable opening up a company.”
says Mark Muoki Lapaire’s Talent Hunter E.A
With more remote work also comes more screen time. Should we be worried about the eye health and sleep patterns of all of these new remote workers who are now spending more time on their electronic devices?
In the current digital world, technology has taken over people’s lives. Digital gadgets especially phones, computers and tablets have become central to daily activities that people engage in, for work as well as leisure or even for education purposes.
Eye health experts caution that spending too much time with these digital devices is contributing to a crisis in eye health among individuals.
Diana Langat an optometrist at lapaire kenya noted that there has been an increased demand for eye care and health over the past two years, attributing this to working from home, which meant people spending more time on their screens.
“This has increased demand for computer protective glasses as patients come complaining of other eyesight related issues,”
Patience Ahumuza, a digital communications consultant says that she spends about 14 hours in front of a computer every day.
“ I am shortsighted which means I am unable to see things clearly unless they are relatively close to the eyes. Since the hit of Covid-19, my work became completely digital and I had more clients so I would spend about 14hrs in front of a computer. It was great in the beginning at first until I started having blurry vision and severe headaches even when I put on my eyeglasses. I visited my Optician to have a comprehensive Eye test because I was suspecting a change in my prescriptions only to be told that I had developed Computer vision syndrome.” declared Ahumuza.
Just two hours of staring at a screen can cause eye strain. “ people spend on average around seven to eleven hours behind screens daily. Prolonged time in front of screens can cause: Blurred vision, Tiredness, Headaches, Red/irritated eyes, Eye strain, & Dry eyes.” says Langa’t.
We live in an increasingly digital world and with many industries being digitized, Eye Experts say that they have seen an increased demand for computer protective glasses as patients come complaining of other eyesight related issues.
What are the solutions to digital eye strain ?
The obvious answer is to stop looking at screens, but that’s simply not possible for most people. Many jobs involve working on computers and the widespread use of smartphones means we’re not putting our screens down anytime soon.
Fortunately, there’s new lens technology that helps to protect against the harmful effects of screens; they are referred to as computer glasses. Using these and taking measures to help reduce the risks of eye strain (outlined at the end of this article) will help prevent the adverse effects on your eyes of living in the digital age.
Lapaire the pan African Eyewear Company is set to launch an awareness campaign on blue light to educate the community on the impact of blue lights and computer vision syndromes to the eyes as well as offer a discount of 15% Off on all Photochromic blue-light blocking glasses for a duration period of one month starting from May 1st to May 31st, 2022.
“Every single day, millions of Kenyans use their screens (phones, laptops etc) to work and connect with the rest of the world. When we use these screens, we are exposed to the blue light they emit. High energy blue light may have a negative effect on the health of our eyes and cause eye strain when using the computer.
It is paramount that we protect our eyes from this blue light. Lapaire is making this possible by offering 15% OFF on all photochromic, blue light blocking glasses that will not only ﬁlter the blue light from but offer 100% protection from the Sun’s UV rays as well.” Commented Roseline Kilonzo, Expansion Manager E.A at Lapaire Commented
How do photochromic blue light blocking glasses work ?
Photochromatic, blue light blocking glasses contain a two in one lens. They combine photochromic lenses which help block the UV rays from the sun and reduce the exposure to sunlight. They tint when outside during the day and are clear indoors. The second part of the lens is the blue light ﬁlter which ﬁlters out blue light emitted by screens making it comfortable for screen users to use their devices comfortably for long hours in a day. Photochromatic, blue light blocking glasses are available as prescription or nonprescription, so you can wear them even if you don’t normally need to wear glasses. Since over exposure to blue light has been known to affect our circadian rhythm, using photochromic blue light ﬁltering glasses may also improve your ability to sleep better at night, which makes you feel better during the day!
How do I know if I have digital eye strain?
Some of the vision problems associated with the use of computers have been attributed to poor ergonomic factors compliance. According to the data published by African journal Online, It is estimated that anywhere between 75 to 90 percent of computer users suffer from digital eye strain. Many of those reported experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain, which may include: Blurred or double vision
- Dry, red or watery eyes
- Eye irritation or soreness
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Loss of focus
How to alleviate eye strain ?
Eye strain is not only caused by overuse of screens but also by prolonged periods of reading and straining to see in certain lighting. It can result in tired eyes, redness, dryness, headaches and neck and back pain. Here are some tips to help reduce these problems:
- Check your lighting : Eye strain can be caused by bright ofﬁce lighting or light coming in through Close blinds where possible and turn your computer so the light is to the side instead of in front or behind. Use lower voltage bulbs and make sure your ambient lighting is about half as bright as the average ofﬁce. Overhead ﬂuorescent lights can cause challenges to the eyes for many ofﬁce workers, but halogen or indirect incandescent lamps may be easier on the eye.
- Set up your desk properly : your screen should be about 20-30 inches away from your face, or arm’s The top of your monitor should be at eye level.
- Adjust your display settings: The brightness of your screen should be around the same brightness level as your Ensure the text is at a comfortable size when reading, so be sure to zoom in to avoid straining.
- Eye exercises : blink regularly (it moistens your eyes), take regular breaks and remember to look away from the It may sound obvious, but we spend hours forgetting to even look up, too absorbed in our work.
- The 20-20-20 rule: When using digital devices, Aim to look away from your screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look at something at least 20 feet turn your gaze towards the distance (out of a window if possible)
- Protect your eyes : wear computer glasses
- Take breaks: Walking away periodically will have the double beneﬁt of reducing your time in front of your screen as well as stretching your
- Have Regular Eye Exams : Regular eye exams help you keep your eye health in check and ensure your problems aren’t worse than normal eye It also gives you a great opportunity to talk to an expert about your habits and eye health! Risks associated with too much screen time