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Does it feel unprofessional to use an eye saver app (to remind you to rest your eyes) or browser extension at work? It recommends to close your eyes for a while and watch further for relieving strained eyes and excessive staring at the monitor every hour or you can set your own time.

In my case many of my colleagues rarely take such explicit breaks and seeing me using the extension make some of them asking me whether I need to visit a doctor and different inappropriate comments. Some people understand it like a slacking as well.

I visit regularly a doctor and I'm fine, but I feel better with this reminder.

Edit: It's a small pop-up on the desktop. I'm not a robot and don't follow it every time but it appear when someone is staring at my monitor.

  • What exactly does the app do whenever you are supposed to take a break? How is the reminder delivered? I sometimes use an Outlook reminder for this, so if a colleague happens to see it, it just looks like any other appointment reminder. – Brandin Aug 21 '16 at 15:39
  • Nobody knows what "eye savers" mean, it could mean some type of protective wear, or rinse, daylight or blue-light filters, or anything else. "an app that gives popup reminders to rest my eyes" is more clear. – smci Apr 19 at 15:51
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Should one feel unprofessional for using eye savers at work ?

You shouldn't feel unprofessional for doing whatever you deem important for your personal health. Some folks need to rest their eyes. Some folks need to take a quick bathroom break frequently. Some need to stand up, stretch, or take a short walk.

Most folks don't need such an app. But if you need something to remind you to look away from your monitor periodically, then just use it and learn to ignore your colleagues. Make sure such apps or browser extensions are permitted on work machines before you install them.

Try not to do it during a meeting, during periods where you are working directly with others, or when your immediate attention is needed. But it's generally not that hard to grab a few seconds or a minute when you need it.

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    I agree, it's more 'unusual' than unprofessional, it's just a tool others are unfamiliar with. – Kilisi Aug 21 '16 at 22:19
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If I were you, I'd go outside to a shady area (to avoid glare), or wherever you can find some privacy (probably not the break room!) People are stupid sometimes, and curious at others. In either case, they're going to disturb you just because it's what people do. It's not "unprofessional" but I'd say it's not something people are used to.

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Are you worried about how others might view your use of the app specifically? Or about their reaction to you doing the exercises? Or both?

If the former, you might want to set up a private Outlook reminder instead which, being more subtle, would probably come across as more professional than your phone buzzing or some kind of obtrusive message popping up on your screen every our. Once you've gotten into the habit, you'll probably find you don't need the reminders anymore, anyway.

If the latter, closing your eyes for a few seconds might be misinterpreted as you trying to take a nap at your desk. You could stave off that worry by combining the exercises with taking a short break: Get up, stretch a bit (you can keep your eyes closed while doing this), maybe look out of the window (which gives you something your eyes something to focus on in the distance). Your colleagues might still comment on this but at least it doesn't look like you're slacking off.

When I'm feeling really tired, I sometimes retreat to the restroom for a few minutes to get a chance to close my eyes and relax without anyone watching. The same technique could be used for doing eye exercises away from any curious colleagues.

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