Does your employee wellness programme take Colour Vision Deficiency into account?

The fast pace of new technology has brought about an always-on approach when it comes to time spent working behind our screens.

The fast pace of new technology has brought about an always-on approach when it comes to time spent working behind our screens.

Published Apr 19, 2023


The working world has changed significantly since the pandemic.

The fast pace of new technology has brought about an always-on approach when it comes to time spent working, especially as we spend more and more time behind our screens.

Individuals and organisations alike are realising the implications from a personal wellness perspective and, ultimately, the long-term consequences associated with increased workloads, more professional responsibility, and even fulfilling more than one official job role.

Unfortunately, although awareness about employee wellbeing is increasing, recent data coming out of Oxford University highlighted that South Africans have some of the longest working hours in the world.

Looking through a different lens

It is, therefore, vital for organisations to consider the overall impact on their employee wellness and well-being. There are an estimated 300 million people in the world with colour vision deficiency. 1 in 12 men is colour-blind (8%). 1 in 200 women is colour-blind (0.5%). In South Africa, estimations are around 2.7 million colour-blind people.

One aspect that is often overlooked is the consideration of employees who suffer from Colour Vision Deficiency, known more commonly as colour blindness.

People with colour blindness often have difficulty distinguishing certain colours. People with total colour blindness can only see things in black, white, and grey. A deficiency of colour perception causes many problems for people with colour blindness, from daily activities to educational issues.

Colour deficiency in the workplace

There are different causes of colour blindness. For most colour-blind people their condition is genetic, usually inherited from their mother, although some people become colour-blind because of other diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis or it can be acquired due to ageing or from taking drugs and medications.

Colour blindness can have an impact on a wide range of jobs, which you might not initially think would cause problems. These employees face challenges in fully accessing information from an array of workplace sources including websites, documents, presentations, spreadsheets photographs, maps, charts, and diagrams. Some people will struggle with machinery, technology, and equipment.

When it comes to employee wellness and well-being ensuring that you accommodate people with colour blindness is important. Every workplace with more than twelve male employees could potentially have at least one colour-blind staff member.

Employers and businesses should, therefore, consider their processes and procedures, not only to support colour-blind colleagues but if they are producing information like brochures, presentations, equipment etc. These outputs would need to be suitable for everyone and 4.5% of their consumers, suppliers and investors will also be colour-blind.

Start with the right technology

OLED displays may be better for colour blindness because the RGB spectrums are narrower than LCD filters. Vision researchers rely on visual display technology for the presentation of stimuli to human and nonhuman observers. Verifying that the desired and displayed visual patterns match along dimensions such as luminance, spectrum, and spatial and temporal frequency is an essential part of developing controlled experiments.

With cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) becoming virtually unavailable on the commercial market, it is useful to determine the characteristics of newly available displays based on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) panels to determine how well they may serve to produce visual stimuli.

Correct adjustment of the settings on both models produced luminance nonlinearities that were well predicted by a power function – this is referred to as gamma correction. Both displays have adjustable pixel independence and can be set to have little to no spatial pixel interactions. OLED displays appear to be a suitable, or even preferable, option for many vision research applications.

Recently, display panels made with organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) have become commercially available. These display panels are comprised of pixels that use an electrical circuit to control the emission of light from a thin film of organic electroluminescent material.

At ASUS, we have a range of OLED laptops and desktops available like the ASUS ExpertBook B5 Flip OLED, ProArt Studiobook and soon to come the ASUS ExpertBook B9 OLED. These state-of-the-art products have been crafted with employee well-being in mind, including those with Colour Vision Deficiency, to ensure that everyone has the same equal opportunity to realise the career they have envisioned for themselves – without any technological barriers