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Eric Lam, VSP, portrait, hr

The Futurist: A vision for the future

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With 87% of adults using digital devices more than two hours a day, employers should help staff care for their eyes, says Eric Lam, regional vice-president, Asia, VSP Vision Care.

Many employers have recognised the importance of employee wellbeing and work-life balance as key strategies to improving employee engagement, loyalty and retention.

Employers are increasingly searching for innovative offerings to address their employees’ demands; and employees are asking more and more for choice and benefit programmes that meet their personal and family needs.

One such new and exciting offering to the region is vision care. According to Euromonitor’s 2016 Eye Health Indicator Analysis, Hong Kong has the highest rate of nearsightedness – difficulty seeing far away – in Asia, impacting 76% of the population or 5.6 million people.

While having an ancillary vision offer is quite common in other parts of the world, it has recently become available locally as a low-cost, highly valuable option employers can add to their benefit suite.

Employee health

A vision scheme provides access to annual comprehensive eye examinations and fashionable eye wear at little to no out-of-pocket costs for your employees.

With a comprehensive eye exam, you get more than just a standard vision test, you also get a thorough check of your eye health. Through a comprehensive eye examination, a registered optometrist can check for signs of chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.


A vision scheme can also help address issues that impact employees’ quality of life and productivity. According to a 2008 report by US-based vision advocacy group, The Vision Council, poor vision results in 32 times more productivity lost than absenteeism.

Digital eye strain is an example of a condition that impacts your staff. Per the Vision Council, more than 87% of adults report using digital devices more than two hours a day, yet many people neglect to care for their eyes, which can have unintended health consequences and impact work productivity.

Vision care schemes

Vision care schemes can play a major role in employee benefit programmes. Although many companies offer an annual health screening programme, a comprehensive eye examination is a good supplementary piece.

In addition to making your employee package more competitive and helping to retain valuable employees, a thorough vision care scheme can increase employee health awareness, leading to a healthier and more productive workforce.

The June 2017 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 12 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

Read The Futurist or subscribe here.

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