5 Tips for Using Hearing Aids at Work
When faced with hearing loss, every day can be a struggle to communicate. In a busy workplace, especially environments with open floor plans, it can become increasingly challenging. Background noise and trying to hear speech from a distance can impede on workflow. Here are some helpful tips to optimize one’s hearing ability at the workplace.
Utilizing Hearing Aid Accessories
Several hearing aids can be accompanied with a microphone to stream speech directly into a device. Co workers can wear these microphones during meetings to amplify their voices. Doing so creates the best accessibility to speech sounds while assisting in the understanding of the discussion. An amplified telephone with captioning can help the communication process while on a phone or during conference calls. Many hearing aids can also connect directly into a smart phone, streaming calls and assisting in deciphering what is being said.
Backup Batteries on Hand
When traveling for work (or leisure), it is always a good idea to keep a supply of hearing aid batteries accessible in the event a battery dies. No one wants to be in a situation where they must frantically search for a replacement battery during a conference or meeting. It would be especially unproductive to leave work, attempting to locate a store in the area that sells them.
Care and Maintenance
The best resource you can utilize to ensure your devices are functioning properly are to have them looked at by health care professional. Having your hearing aids cared for and maintained will guarantee they will be an important asset in the workplace. There could be important information missed during a meeting or in passing from a coworker due to a device cutting in and out or failing to function at the audio level you’ve programmed it to. To find a provider near you who can service your devices, use our find a clinic page.
Reference with Printed Material
Visual materials can be printed out and reviewed before a presentation to fill in any gaps that may occur due to hearing loss. Sit in a position where visual aids such as training videos, demonstrations, and Power Point presentations can be seen easily. Another helpful tool for those who suffer from hearing loss is written communication. When possible, request important messages be sent in visual format either via email or through interoffice memo.
Honesty with Coworkers
While there may be apprehensive feelings, making coworkers aware of hearing loss is the most helpful strategy to implement. A simple reminder to a coworker for them to speak clearly, slow down their rate of speech, and to talk face-to-face, can help alleviate the time lost in repeating directions and information. Asking peers to rephrase, rather than repeat, can also help in bridging communication gaps, improving professional relationships and productivity.