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Ask Anna: How can I make my office more hearing loss-friendly?

Making my office more hearing loss-friendly

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna: I just started a new job and I’m finding that it’s more difficult to understand people in meetings than it used to be, even with my hearing aids. I know there are many hearing aid accessories out there that helps pick up speech in such settings where there are many people in a room or around a table, but what is the best one for a professional work environment? – Employeed Deafie in New York

Dear Employeed Deafie,

How to cope with hearing aids in the workplace is a question that I have often been, asked but it is an issue that is often overlooked. Now with more people retiring later in life it is something that I feel is going to become a more common question.

If you are working in an office environment  there are many accessories that can be used with your hearing aids to help, for example when you are in a meeting or on the phone, that can help make your office more hearing loss-friendly.  These devices are sometimes called assistive listening devices or environmental aids.

However, there are many different solutions and knowing what is best can be a challenge. It can depend on if you work in an open plan office or have to go to different meeting rooms with variable acoustics or if you spend a lot of time on phone calls. Most Audiologists will provide some kind of service to assess this for you, either in the form of simple advice and guidance or a work based assessment.

In some countries there are organizations or government run schemes that will offer this service and sometimes these schemes provide financial assistant to help purchase this equipment. It is in everyone’s best interests to keep people happy and content in their place of work.

I wish you luck in your new job and hope you find a solution to be able to follow the meetings easily. You can learn more about Phonak hearing solutions for the workplace to give you an idea of what is available.

Do you have a question for Anna? Email:

The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Hearing Like Me website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.
Author Details
Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.