November 1, 2018
You walk into a customer site hoping for a quiet conversation and are hit by a cacophony of ringing phones and loud conversations. No slamming doors, of course, because there are no doors. Imagine what employees go through just trying to take a conference call.
Though there has been a recent backlash against the open offices meant to promote collaboration, experts say they comprise some 80 percent of U.S. workspaces. This even as studies show the noise level makes a collaborative atmosphere elusive.
The flip side are remote workers, some of them driven to telecommute by that chaotic office environment. They are hosting and participating in conference and video calls where they live, without needing a conference or meeting room setup. Wireless technology is available everywhere, and it’s easy and convenient to make the coffee shop, bookstore or basement a virtual office. There’s even a trend toward working in bars during the day.
Mobile devices that deliver web conferencing, instant messenger, unified communications applications and softphones are now just a normal part of many people’s daily business lives.
So, how do you help your customers help their employees tune out background noise while not changing the physical vibes of their office spaces or costing them large amounts of funding for a renovation?
For those in an office or environment with lots of people and noise, who conduct business primarily via telephone calls, such as sales, look at the room itself. Enhancing and changing the physical space with better flooring, like carpet, and adding dividing panels between those who rely more on telecommunications will help soundproof the area. In addition, providing employees with high-quality, professional headphones can actually reduce the noise levels when used in conjunction with softphones.
There are some great noise-canceling headphones in the market today, that not only help users tune out what’s in the background but can also help those on the other end of the line. Both parties can hear participants much better without having to overhear noise in the background. This, in turn, creates a more professional user experience for everyone.
Whether you’re working in a cubicle, board room, or large event space, today’s wireless microphones also offer exceptional audio pickup and clear transmission. They provide flexible and extended range for your speakers and collaborators while still providing the same level of clarity you’d expect from a hard-wired microphone.
As remote workers become more the norm, the standard desk phone becomes less of a necessity and softphones become more prevalent in mobile workplaces. With a VoIP phone system installed on the computer, and not a hard-wired landline, employees can keep their same number no matter where they are physically located. In addition, there is software for softphones that will transcribe the conversation. This provides …
… an alternate method for conversation recall if the background noise is too much.
What About Video?
When the office doesn’t have high-tech private conference rooms, yet your customers still need to conduct meetings via audio/video communications, you’ll want to make sure they have quality technology that works despite background noise challenges. Solutions like HD video with wide-angle cameras can be easily attached to a monitor found in a huddle space. Wireless screen-sharing, noise-canceling audio and integrated microphone technology provide more than just a web-cam option, and allow anyone to conduct a meeting, anywhere. No matter how busy or noisy the background, it’s still possible for employees to host conversations that don’t capture the sound of the entire room.
Completely eliminating background noise is likely never going to happen. However, if you can offer the right technology and understanding, you can offer a host of solutions that make it much easier for the customer and bring yourself value. If you already have your hardware and still find yourself experiencing loud background sounds, don’t forget about noise-blocking technology that reduces unwanted noise during group meetings. It’s available for handsets, audio, and video conferencing.
Rhonda Trainor is director of merchandising for ScanSource and a Channel Partners Advisory Board member. ScanSource provides products and services solutions that focus on point-of-sale, payments, barcode, physical security, unified communications and collaboration, cloud and telecom. It has two segments — Worldwide Barcode, Networking & Security, which includes POS Portal, and Worldwide Communications & Services, which includes Intelisys. ScanSource operates in North America, Latin America and Europe. Follow Trainor on LinkedIn.
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