Speak up for hearing friendly workplaces
Post on 3rd March 2021
For today’s World Hearing Day let’s speak up about the importance of hearing health at work so that it does not remain a silent taboo.
The global Covid pandemic has changed the way we work and who knows what changes will remain when life returns to normal.
What will not change is the importance of helping people with hearing loss to feel comfortable and included in the workplace so that it benefits communication, productivity and the health and happiness of employees.
People who have trouble hearing may not raise concerns at work if they fear it could affect their job or career prospects, if they’re embarrassed by this change in their life or if they’re simply not sure what to do about it.
Here are some tips to make workplaces more hearing friendly
– Raise awareness of the issue at all levels of the business and encourage people to look out for colleagues who may need support
– Be flexible and modify a job to take the needs of someone with hearing loss into account
– Reduce noise levels wherever possible and consider siting noise-making machines where they have the least impact
– Move people with hearing loss to an office with good acoustics where sound is transmitted well
– Place them where they can see the rest of the room not with their back to the door to increase awareness and communication
– In meetings ensure only one person speaks at a time and if necessary ask them to use a microphone if available
– Invest in technology and equipment to help people with hearing loss so you retain their skills and experience in the workplace. For example installing a loop system would assist hearing aid users
– Changes do not have to be expensive – good lighting helps as people with hearing loss rely on visual cues for effective communication
– Provide a supportive environment where people feel more confident in raising their hearing loss concerns and then act on those concerns
As the length of working lives increases, whether by choice or necessity, age-related hearing loss will affect more people in the workplace. It is a sound investment to take action to accommodate their needs and equip them to continue to do the job well.
If you have any concerns about your hearing you can find help, advice and free hearing checks at your local Scrivens branch which remains open with Covid-secure measures in place.