Telecommuting is now the norm for many people around the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. While many people are struggling to establish a routine and stay motivated, there are extra barriers for people who experience hearing loss. Virtual communication is much more difficult when you have hearing problems. Below are some tips for working remotely when you have hearing loss, as well as tips for running a virtual meeting to accommodate those with hearing loss.
Tips for Those with Hearing Loss
- Sync your hearing aids. If you wear hearing aids that have Bluetooth connectivity, sync them to your computer, tablet or whatever device you’re using to telecommute for optimum sound clarity.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones. If you don’t have Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, try using noise-cancelling headphones during virtual meetings. Because they block ambient sounds, you’ll have an easier time following the conversation than if you use your computer speakers or earbuds.
- Advocate for yourself. If you are having difficulty following the conversation, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your colleagues to accommodate your communication needs.
Tips for Running a Virtual Meeting
- Introduce everyone. If you are able to, introduce everyone on the call in order to provide time for people to get situated and adjust their sound settings. If you are running a large meeting and cannot introduce everyone, time the time to at least introduce all the speakers.
- Use video. While bandwidth can sometimes be an issue for video calls, use it if you are able to. Many people with hearing loss rely on lip-reading and other visual cues to follow along. If you can’t keep everyone on video, ask just the person who has the floor to turn on their camera.
- Check lighting. Make sure speakers are in well-lit areas to improve visual signals.
- Wear a headset/microphone. This will provide better sound and speech clarity than using the microphone on your laptop or tablet.
- Use mute when not speaking. Ask everyone who is not speaking to keep their mics muted in order to minimize background noise.
While this is a difficult time for all of us, there are ways to make working from home a little bit easier. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the experts at Arizona Hearing Specialists today.