04 February 2013

How to thrive in the office with a hearing loss

If you have a hearing loss, the feeling of isolation in the office can be tackled with a few handy tips and tricks.

An office life can have certain professional and social pitfalls for a person with a hearing loss. Background noise, echoing sounds or mumbling people can be some of the challenges of an office.

But here are a few tips that can help in tackling such challenges;

  • Take responsibility and speak up or ask for help if you cannot keep-up with a meeting.
  • Get to know the immediate team well at the office; the rest of the office will learn from their actions.
  • Be focused and choose your desk carefully so that you can see everybody in the office. Focus on developing one or two good friendships with co-workers and meet regularly to ensure you are fully informed about the things going on.
  • Communicate by speaking loud and clear. Good communication is everybody's responsibility and with appropriate communication comes effective communication.

Strategic tricks

Missing out on communication, small talk, office banter and humour can lead to feelings of isolation as it is difficult to understand the ”?mood' of the office.

Some strategic tricks can also help to navigate the office.

During office meetings, key points can be jotted down and presented afterwards for the co-worker with a hearing loss. This ensures that the person is fully informed about what is going on.

Another strategic approach can be to explain to co-workers which methods of communication are most beneficial; lip reading for instance.

Source: “Action on hearing loss” -magazine, October/November 2012.

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