How Can Employers Encourage Responsible Screen Use at Work?
Although many jobs require frequent and long-term screen use, employers and employees can take action to prevent problems like headaches and sleep disruption.
- By Penny Holman
- Jun 28, 2023
In today’s age, many of us spend the majority of our working day sitting behind a screen. Although this may seem like a safe and relatively harmless occupation, extensive screen time exposure carries its own risks. The risks of looking at a screen for too long are fairly well recognized, such as headaches, eye strain and disruption of sleep, but the way that we position ourselves when working also has an impact on our health.
In fact, sitting in front of a computer can cause a variety of physical health issues, from occasional cramping to long-term back problems. As a result, it’s important for employers to ensure that screens are being used in a healthy and sustainable way that prioritizes employee health. Keep reading to discover our advice to employers.
Provide Adequate Equipment
To help minimize the risk of physical injury or strain, it’s important that employees have an ergonomic desk setup. This means investing in desks that sit at a comfortable height, chairs with adjustable support, monitor stands or risers alongside other accessories that can be tailored to the individual’s needs.
It’s important that employees feel that they can ask for extra equipment if they feel it would make their working life more comfortable, so employers should consider setting up a dedicated budget. As the use of adequate equipment can make sitting at a desk less tiring, employees are able to focus more easily on their work—making it a win-win situation for everyone.
Encourage Regular Breaks
Staring at a screen for long periods of time can cause fatigue and difficulty concentrating, so although it may seem counterproductive at first, it’s important for employees to have regular breaks away from their desks. They don’t have to be long breaks, even just ten minutes of looking around at different objects can offer relief to the eyes and mind.
After taking a break, employees often return to their desks feeling refreshed and may even find themselves being more productive as a result. Encouraging breaks is also likely to make staff feel valued by the business, which can in turn boost motivation and productivity.
Promote Physical Activity
Engaging in exercise has many benefits for our minds and our physical health. Even something as simple as taking a short walk each day can do wonders for our mood and concentration levels. It’s especially important for office workers to get their bodies moving, due to the sedentary lifestyle that comes from sitting at a desk.
Employers should encourage workers to get outside and get some exercise, not only in hopes of increasing their productivity, but also to boost their mental and physical wellbeing. This can be done by promoting the benefits of exercise, or even adopting a cycle-to-work scheme. This scheme typically offers employees a discount on bikes and accessories, which can make cycling much more accessible to beginners, thus encouraging greater participation.
Being an employer is not just about figures, but about looking out for each and every employee within the business. Employees that feel valued will be much more willing to help out when needed and contribute to the overall success of the organization.
Penny Holman is a freelance writer who covers topics ranging from office organisation to ergonomic equipment, hoping to educate people on the importance of a healthy workspace. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and exploring new places on her bike.