Why Your Choice of Headset Might Make You Unproductive at Work

Why Your Choice of Headset Might Make You Unproductive at Work
Image: iStock/Antonio_Diaz

This article is sponsored by EPOS.

There are few things more frustrating than having to repeat yourself three-times in a row while on a call. It’s an unnecessary stress factor that you can do without, especially in these trying times. As Zoom meetings become the standard way to check in with coworkers and plan with clients, it’s essential to have a good pair of headphones, or a headset, that will let you hear everything with the utmost clarity.

According to a survey commissioned by the high-end audio brand EPOS, in conjuncture with global market research firm IPSOS, they found that some of the most common problems faced by workers are audio related. Productivity was affected by excessive background noise being an overbearing distraction (42%), and the communication breakdown of poor audio quality resulting in people having to repeat themselves (34%) or asking for information to be repeated to them (34%).

When you’re trying to fight against loud background noises, the phrases, “Can you hear me?” and “Sorry, could you repeat that?” are said with an increasing frequency. To make matters worse, these phrases could deal an unfortunate blow in important meetings, as it’s embarrassing to be the person who has to keep asking the speaker to continuously repeat themselves.

Picking up a cheap headset that you can use for Zoom meetings might seem like an easy option, but it can have some negative long-term effects. While you might be able to save yourself a few dollars, chances are you’ll be sacrificing audio quality and your efficiency as a worker.

If you can’t effectively block out loud distractions from your work environment with your headset, it’s quite easy to get side-tracked by their incessant presence. You can only crank the volume on your computer so high before it’s so loud that every word feels like a truck barreling through your skull. In their report — which surveyed 2,500 end-users, over 75% of whom work in organisations of over 200 people — EPOS noted that the average employee loses 29 minutes per week due to bad sound quality on voice calls.

As more and more employees are choosing to work from home, these new working situations have brought about their own set of problems. Taking telephone calls, conference calls and teleconference calls have become a greater necessity in day-to-day business as staff members remain in their homes, so having a good audio set up is more essential than ever.

However, these new working environments have brought about their own unique set of problems. The loud coworker has been traded for loud housemates and family members who don’t know how to knock before entering a room. Even if you live by yourself, you still might not be free from distractions and interference. There’s the dreaded garbage truck rattling down your street or the one neighbour who has decided now is the perfect time to practice the drums at the exact moment you’ve jumped onto an important video call.

There’s no secret solution here. Picking up a good headset is the easiest way to block out outside distractions, no matter what work environment you’re in. It’s not difficult to find a good headset with noise cancelling capabilities, and if they just happen to have microphones built into them, even better. For the most part, these microphones will do a better job than your laptop’s in-built one.

There are plenty of options when it comes to premium audio solutions. The EPOS | SENNHEISER ADAPT 360 headset is designed to block out background noise with active noise cancellation and come with two built-in microphones. If you’re looking for something a bit more professional, the ADAPT 560 comes with a microphone boom arm that can be folded out from the side of the headset.

There are also some other factors at play here, like the strength of your Internet connection determining the quality of which you can send and receive audio. You might also have to combat with the quality of audio technology on the receiver’s end. Picking up a high quality headset with noise cancellation and a built-in microphone is an easy solution to help make sure you stay on track when working.

So don’t let a poor headset ruin an important pitch or negatively impact your relationship with a client. Bad audio leads to bad business. Having the right tools at your disposal can help to lower the risk of misunderstandings, as you’ll be able to clearly express yourself when on a call.

Hopefully, you’ll never have to say, “Sorry, could you repeat that?” again.