PINELLAS PARK, Fla.—Employees seek vision benefit information from eyecare providers, and say professional recommendations can influence interest in purchasing premium lens options, according to the newly released 2022 Transitions Optical Workplace Wellness survey. The survey polled 1,300 U.S. adults, ages 18 and over, who are employed full-time, part-time or self-employed, and whose employer offers vision benefits. In contrast to the many employees who expect their eyecare professional to explain their coverage benefits, only three in 10 (31 percent) employees prefer to access their benefit information through their vision insurance plan’s website.

Even fewer (28 percent) prefer to access their benefit information during open enrollment. Almost all (98 percent) employees surveyed say they expect their eyecare professional to explain:

• The vision services and eyewear products covered under their insurance plan.
• The costs of covered services and eyewear products.
• How they can maximize their benefits.

“Employees put a lot of trust in their eyecare professional, and our survey findings reinforce the need for them to be aware of new employee expectations,” said Jonathan Ormsby, senior key account manager, Transitions Optical. “This is an opportunity to provide employees with exactly what they are looking for from an eyecare provider, which can help a practice truly stand out.”

Light sensitivity and digital eyestrain can lead to many problems for employees while at work, ranging from trouble seeing, to headaches, to even taking excessive breaks. The 2022 Workplace Wellness survey found that 78 percent of employees report their work productivity and performance has been impacted by either eyestrain/eye fatigue (50 percent), headaches (39 percent), blurry vision (36 percent), discomfort looking at bright screens (33 percent), and/or difficulty focusing on distance objects upon looking up from the screen (33 percent).

Additionally, in 2020, a Transitions Optical survey found 67 percent of employees take breaks throughout the day to help alleviate discomfort from sitting behind a screen.

In a time of increased demands on employees’ eyes, eyecare professionals’ recommendations can influence purchasing decisions—even without them considering the financial cost. In fact, 88 percent of employees report they are likely to purchase premium lens options if recommended by an eyecare professional.

Additionally, 86 percent of employees are also likely to spend more than their insurance allowance for a new pair of eyeglasses, and almost all (96 percent) of the employees surveyed report they are willing to pay above what their insurance fully covers for premium lens options including:

• 55 percent willing to pay above what their insurance fully covers for UV protection.
• 49 percent willing to pay above what their insurance fully covers for blue light protection.
• 44 percent willing to pay above what their insurance fully covers for photochromic lenses.

“It is more important than ever for eyecare professionals to be aware of patient desires and needs, especially in the digital age, when it comes to recommending premium lens options,” said Ormsby. “Our research aims to help eyecare professionals so they can provide solutions to employees that work with their modern lifestyles and help them to see their best in any light condition.”