Christian Heilmann

#workfromhome – If you value your colleagues, use a headset

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 5:52 pm

I’ve been working from home and 8-9 hours away from my colleagues for the last 8 years and mostly on the go. My work setup is a laptop and wherever I have space to sit. This teaches you quite a few things about remote work and – more to the point – what doesn’t work.

Therefore here is a plea of mine that is based on a few questions people asked me lately what the best thing to do to make remote working using messaging software work. And here it is: use a headset.

Chris wearing headset

Any distraction to a video or audio call is bad. And they multiply with all the colleagues on the call. It is tough enough to make sure everyone is understood and hears everything. Distracting sounds are not helping there.

To me, using a headset means a few things:

  • The only audio people hear from me is my voice. Not what is happening in the room, not any of my bodily functions
  • I can type notes of the meeting I am in without adding a drum and bass soundtrack to the meeting
  • I switch from “doing something” mode to “being in the meeting” mode
  • I hear when my Microphone is on. My own voice only can be heard in the headset when it is on. You don’t want to be in an uncertain stage if your mic is on or not.

As to which headset to use, I don’t care. I am doing fine with my Plantronics Blackwire 500 C520-M, as its sound quality is great and it is comfortable to wear. You can go much fancier of course and if you work in a noisy home maybe adding noise cancellation is a great idea. I got my headset from my company and I am pretty sure most companies will be OK with you ordering a headset.

So that’s a quick one, but it really makes a difference.

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