In a noisy workplace environment, employees can struggle with maintaining concentration as loud noise becomes a distraction, making it difficult to stay focused and productive.
This constant background noise has been a major problem for industries in the past. But, we have helped many organizations (including Coca-Cola, Ford, BMW, and Amazon) to overcome these challenges using the latest headset technology. Our clients have discovered that noise-cancelling and noise-reducing communication headsets effectively improve focus and productivity in the workplace.
The Problem of Unwanted Noise in the Workplace
The adverse effects of high background noise levels on productivity and employee satisfaction are well understood. Noisy environments disrupt productivity by causing stress and distraction in the workplace. Our clients had all experienced the frustration of trying to focus on work amidst constant background noise and were happy to discover simple and effective strategies to create a more peaceful and productive work environment.
It is important to note that the potential problems related to workplace noise can be more serious than productivity issues. Loud noise can contribute to workplace accidents due to the adverse effect on concentration, and can also make it difficult to hear warnings. In addition, workplace noise over time can cause serious hearing problems.
- Permanent hearing damage due to workplace noise affects around 125,000 workers each year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), around 22 million workers each year are exposed to potentially damaging levels of noise at work.
- Exposure to high levels of external noise can cause permanent hearing loss which cannot be corrected with surgery or hearing aids.
- Although sudden very loud noises can damage hearing, most cases of hearing loss happen over time due to prolonged lower-level types of noise.
- Short-term exposure to loud workplace noise can also cause temporary hearing loss or tinnitus (a ringing in your ears). Further noise exposure can lead to permanent tinnitus and/or hearing loss.
If you need to raise your voice to speak to someone just 3 feet away, noise levels might be over 85 decibels. OSHA requires employers to implement a hearing conservation program in work environments when noise exposure is at or above 85 decibels.
Understanding the Options: What Kind of Headsets are Available?
When considering equipment for workplace use, it’s important to understand the kind of headsets available. From personal experience over the last several years – working with companies to improve communications in manufacturing – I’ve seen that the right equipment makes a world of difference to audio quality and comfort.
PlantTours offers a variety of headset types: Bluetooth connection, in-the-ear/ over-the-ear headphones, discreet “secret service” headset types (ultralight, behind-ear coiled secret service earbuds and a lapel microphone), high noise and low-noise headphones, options for boom microphones, suitable for rugged durability and hard hat use, and more.
But before selecting a headset for a noisy environment, you need to understand NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). You’ll see an NRR figure quoted for any reputable brand of noise-reducing or noise-cancelling headsets. The NRR is a standardized rating for noise reduction and is calculated using a simple mathematical formula so that consumers can more easily compare how well different headphones work. The higher the NRR number, the higher the noise levels the headset can deal with safely.
It is also a good idea to measure the noise dB level in the workplace to determine the right hearing protection. PlantTours offers a range of headsets with noise reduction ratings as high as 24, allowing you to always be able to find a headset that will meet your needs.
Benefits of Noise-CancelLing Communication headsets
Noise in the workplace can disrupt productivity and damage hearing. Traditional headsets often don’t cut it in noisy industrial environments and fail to provide the noise isolation required. I’ve spent years consulting with clients in noisy work settings, and here’s the simple playbook that has worked time and time again for top-rated organizations without fail: Invest in quality noise-cancelling headphones for a more productive workplace and happier employees.
Having experienced first-hand the inefficiency and frustration of using subpar headsets, it’s always exciting to get feedback from customers. Using a pair of noise-cancelling headphones equipped with active noise-cancelling technology can create dramatic benefits. Both active noise cancellation and passive noise cancellation headphones offer proven benefits such as:
- Reduced surrounding noise
- Enhanced concentration
- Improved communication
- Minimized distraction
- Increased produ0ctivity
- Fewer accidents
It may sound cliché, but active noise-cancelling headsets can create a peaceful oasis amidst the bustle of a factory or warehouse. Allowing you to escape the noisy surroundings by reducing external sounds – including low-frequency noise – can leave you better able to maintain focus. Communication becomes easier and conversations are clearer and more productive.
Customers typically provide feedback stating that noise-cancelling headphones allow them to work in peace, free from the distraction and disruption of the noisy environment.
Benefits of Noise-Reducing Communication Headsets
Noise reduction is the technology used to eliminate unwanted noise and there are two main types to consider: Passive Noise Reduction (PNR) and Active Noise Reduction (ANR).
Passive Noise Reduction is commonly found in hearing protection headsets and works by minimizing the amount of noise that reaches the ears without completely blocking out external sounds. Passive Noise Reduction is an effective way to create a quieter environment without sacrificing the ability to have a conversation or hear warnings or alarms. They block the actual “loudness” before reaching your eardrums so are perfect for high-noise workplaces.
Active Noise Reduction headphones use advanced electronic circuitry to detect and then counteract sound waves above a certain decibel level. It generates an anti-noise signal that cancels out unwanted ambient noise for enhanced clarity and sound quality. ANR is more suited for something like listening to music with good reproduction of low and high-frequency sounds.
Noise reduction headsets create a more comfortable environment and can help reduce stress-related illnesses, hearing damage, and improve overall productivity. In my experience, the best noise-cancelling headphones work particularly well in high noise areas offering relief from ambient sounds. Customers appreciate that our headsets offer excellent hearing protection and reduce distractions, improving communication capabilities thanks to overall better sound quality.
Considerations for Selecting the Right Headset
Selecting the right headset for your needs is a big deal; there are so many types of headsets available with different underlying technologies that power them. With so many options available, it’s vitally important to make the right decision. Understanding the difference between noise cancellation and noise reduction is an important first step. To assist you with finding the perfect communication products for your needs, we offer a Free Demo Kit that includes all headset combinations for a 2-person test. You can test the equipment for as long as you need at your facility, then simply use the label included for free return shipping.
Over the last few years, we have enabled many top companies to significantly improve workplace communication and productivity using noise-cancelling and noise-reducing communication headsets. These devices work well for our clients in a range of industrial workplace settings to block out distracting background noise, leading to better collaboration and increased efficiency.
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