Overhead lighting directly into the eyes kind of sucks. Cubicles, so cannot do much about it otherwise. I'm thinking about wearing a brimmed hat to block it. I don't work with clients, but still it's a not-too-casual office.

Is it acceptable to wear a hat such as this or this or this one (it's a golf visor) in an office?

If not, are there other solutions that block the overhead light and are acceptable?

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    @solarflare "Do you think people might find it a little eccentric" Some probably would. "And is this a reputation you want?" While I'd like to avoid it if I can - open to suggestions! - I want my eyes (and body in general) to be fine way more than I dislike such a reputation. Aug 12, 2019 at 23:02
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    Unfortunately I'm not sure this is answerable, as it'll vary between company and culture. Where I work, you might get the nickname of "hat guy", but little else. In some other places, you may be hauled into the manager's office and told to stop making a fool of yourself. It's really impossible to say.
    – berry120
    Aug 12, 2019 at 23:13
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    Only your manager/employee handbook/HR knows if it is acceptable or not... thus, this question is company-specific.
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 12, 2019 at 23:19
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    Are you able to change the orientation of the desks in the cubicle?
    – Player One
    Aug 12, 2019 at 23:25
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    I think that link is hardly accessible outside of North America.
    – Ignatius
    Aug 13, 2019 at 1:20

4 Answers 4


You really need to take this up with your direct manager at first and if that fails your companies health and safety officer (these go by different names depending on locale).

If there is a danger to your eyesight you absolutely have every right to want to have this problem rectified.

Speak to your manager about this.

Approaching this by wearing a hat or sunglasses will not help, you'll probably be ridiculed by your coworkers and you could even find yourself in trouble with HR for being a distraction or some other reason (they can find plenty if they want).

Having said that I know a guy (in my old career) who was not given wet weather gear and was told to wait so he brought his daughters Minnie Mouse umbrella and used it in public. He did it to make a mockery of himself and was protesting management. He only had to do that a couple of times (in public) and he was given brand new equipment.

Obviously this is not advice, just a fun story about a similar situation. Unless you want to make a mockery of the situation you're best bet is to speak to management and see what can be done.

If all else fails (and your eyesight is at risk) might be time to move on to another job.

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    If all else fails... before considering quitting, I would suggest to get some medical evidence (letter, etc.) that OP could use to back up the need to cover from this light.
    – DarkCygnus
    Aug 12, 2019 at 23:41
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    Something like the Gunnar Optiks glasses might be helpful, and less eccentric. (Disclaimer, while I have computer reading glasses, I don't wear this brand or any tint). I guess it depends on how bad the glare can be. Aug 13, 2019 at 0:42
  • @LaconicDroid Interesting option. Do they help with the intensity though? Aug 13, 2019 at 12:50
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    @levantpied I honestly don't know. I did a little research on them a few years ago, and seem to remember different tints that offered different levels of optical protection. However, I ended up choosing "regular" untinted prescription lenses. Aug 13, 2019 at 16:27

Rather than wear a hat while sitting at your desk you could ask if you could get an overhead glare screen. We have a few people that use them in my workplace. They clamp to your desk and can be adjusted to block the glare from overhead lighting.

An example is shown here: https://www.backcs.co.uk/supervisor-anti-glare-screen-with-clamp-base/

This is a picture of the type of screen I'm referring to, just in case the link doesn't work:

enter image description here

It may be preferable to being seen as eccentric and as "the hat guy"

I'm not sure what country you're in but in the UK (where I am) the glare from overhead lighting is addressed in Display Screen Equipment (DSE) assessments and where moving desks is not an option the overhead screens have been purchased.

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    So, no not the hat guy but the "shade" guy... and that would soon change to the "shady guy" :)
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 13, 2019 at 9:40

How about a green eyeshade visor as used "by accountants, telegraphers, copy editors".

Now available from casino suppliers.

Alternatively a flat cap is good enough for Prince William.

Prince William, flat cap and waxed jacket

  • Was about to suggest the green eye shade thing - exactly the reason why it existed...
    – Solar Mike
    Aug 13, 2019 at 8:26
  • The full quote from wikipedia is that they were worn " from the late-19th century to the mid-20th century by accountants...". Nowadays I'm not sure they are more acceptable than a hat. Really it's something to raise with your manager or HR. Aug 13, 2019 at 9:00

Talk to your manager about this and see whether you can move your desk to an area where the overhead lighting isn't so distracting for you.

Otherwise, see if you can request that the lighting above your desk can either be turned off or lowered in intensity.

You could also try "personalizing" your cubicle with glare-reducing (non-flammable) fabric.

  • Talking to the direct manager is the best option so far, but I don't see how putting glare-reducing fabric in the cubicle is less excentric than wearing a golf visor or sunglasses. Instead of the hat / golf guy, he'll be the canopy guy... Aug 13, 2019 at 7:00
  • I wasn't suggesting a canopy of any kind. Just something to cut down glare a little more.
    – user44108
    Aug 13, 2019 at 7:19
  • If it's overhead lighting above the desk, making a canopy or a cover of some kind over the desk is the only way to use fabric to cut the glare over his desk only and not impact the others. Aug 13, 2019 at 7:30
  • Light has the habit of reflecting off shiny surfaces. It's not just a problem when coming from above.
    – user44108
    Aug 13, 2019 at 8:24

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