Home » Employee Wellbeing » How perfect audio can create a productive and happy workforce

James Hill

Director, Integrated Systems U.K. & Ireland, Shure

Bad audio can have a detrimental effect on business and negative impact on the wellbeing of both staff and management.

How many times have you sat through a presentation that suffered from unintelligible sound and poor audio, wishing you were anywhere but actually ‘here’?

Impact of audio issues

Meetings that are hampered by audio issues can have a detrimental effect on a business, from basic problems such as employees being unable to carry out tasks, poor communication between departments and loss of company time rescheduling meetings that have broken down.

Poor audio can also have a direct and damaging effect on our emotional wellbeing; participants in a meeting who have to strain to understand a bad video conferencing call or presentation will grow frustrated, tired and will lose interest in the subject matter more quickly than the same participants in an environment where the audio is clear and concise.

Screen breaks are commonplace within many organisations, with some offering training and advice to reduce the stress and fatigue caused by staring at a screen. But what about training on good sound?

That feeling of wanting to be anywhere but ‘here’ could actually be your inner self telling you enough is enough. A recent study published in the Science Communication journal led by Eryn Newman from the University of Southern California and Norbert Schwarz from the Australian National University has supported this idea, suggesting that good and bad audio can have even greater effects on the emotional wellbeing and reactions of the listener. The report revealed that high quality audio in presentations makes people like you more, perceive you as being more intelligent and believing that the subject matter you’re communicating is more important than the same presentation that suffers from poor quality audio.

Sound advice

One of the main culprits of poor sound is the space in which the presentation or meeting is taking place. Thankfully, hard office walls and big glass windows are now being replaced with acoustically treated spaces containing baffles to diffuse the sound, soft furnishings and curtains further help with unwanted noise through sound reflection and feedback.

With more people working from home, there’s an even greater importance on good audio to help with concentration. Distractions are myriad, which can hamper a day’s productivity.

Successful audio can only be really effective at source itself, so investing in the correct microphone for use is a critical part of the audio chain. There are a number of different options from Shure to choose from; handheld microphones to desktop products, lavalier microphones and microphones that can be discreetly placed within the office celling, amplifying the sound through highly directional pickup lobes that capture participant audio from overhead. These microphones are not only sound exceptional, but they eliminate unwanted background noise, such as air conditioning units.

An elegant solution

With more people working from home, there’s an even greater importance on good audio to help with concentration. Distractions are myriad, which can hamper a day’s productivity. Add to this the poor sound from the inbuilt laptop mic and speaker or inadequate headphones and it adds to unwanted stress and fatigue. Investing in a good USB microphone and better headphones is not only a great asset for being heard, but it will also help with engagement and concentration levels, in turn helping with productivity and wellbeing.

Today, there really is no excuse for having to endure a poor sounding presentation or meeting. As a market-leading audio specialist with a heritage of nearly 100 years in microphone design we can offer advice and support to enable organisations to meet and exceed audio requirements. Our portfolio of products has been designed to meet all needs and requirements, with USB microphones developed specifically for the home office, through to state-of-the-art solutions that use steerable lobe technology for an unobtrusive, natural sound.

By offering the best possible way to connect with your colleagues and clients effectively and effortlessly, with clear and concise audio, we aim to change that feeling of being anywhere but ‘here’ into a feeling of being heard.

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