If you have hearing loss, you might have noticed that it can affect you at work. Each job is quite different when it comes to the necessity to hear in the workplace. Of course, jobs in customer service and other front-facing positions require quick and fluid communication ability for success. Other jobs require communication between coworkers to work collaboratively as a team. Yet, there are other jobs that you might think are less affected by hearing loss. Manual work and technical crafts might not seem to need much verbal communication for success. Although some of these jobs are less affected by hearing loss, you might be surprised how many of them do require verbal communication, and safety is ensured by proper hearing ability in almost any job. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can seek accommodations in the workplace to better perform with hearing loss, keeping in mind that the only durable solution to hearing loss is to get professional treatment.


Accommodating Hearing Loss in Office Environments

If you work in an office environment, particularly one that requires verbal communication, then you will need to integrate some accommodations to make your work possible and effective. In the first place, take some steps to reduce background noise in your working environment. You can see if another office space is available to you if you find yourself in a noisy, central location. Open office layouts tend to be the worst for people with hearing loss, so you can ask if an office with a door or soundproofing walls is available. You can also inquire about meeting spaces that are specifically designed to be quiet. These spaces are useful for meetings with coworkers or phone calls. If you have more serious hearing loss, you can request office tools that will improve your audio accessibility, such as telephones, microphones, or hearing loops that amplify sound. One of the most useful tips for those who have hearing loss at work is to ask for documents in writing. When someone tells you something casually at the water cooler, you might be expected to hear, understand, and recall that information in the future. Rather than using these casual conversations as part of your working process, you can ask the person to email you the details. When you attend a meeting in person, ask the presenter to send along written notes and documents so that you can fill in the gaps in what you heard in person.


Accommodating Hearing Loss in Other Workplaces

Office environments are not the only places where hearing ability is necessary. Even if you work in a factory, computer programming, or other hands-on workplace, hearing ability will be expected for some communication and emergency alert systems. If you are unable to hear these alerts, you will not only be putting yourself at risk but your coworkers, as well. If you have a manager or coworker who tells you an important piece of information, you are expected to use that information for yourself and to share it with others. When hearing loss gets in the way of your ability to hear and repeat information, you will be less able to keep your workplace safe. As your supervisor if visual alerts are possible, and be sure to ask others to repeat themselves, provide information in writing, or pass information to coworkers if you know that hearing loss is an issue for you.


Treatment and Workplace Success

The only durable solution for hearing loss is to get professional treatment. Although these accommodation strategies are helpful to get by in the meantime, they will not prevent the inevitable gaps in information that can occur with untreated hearing loss. If you are concerned about your workplace performance and safety due to hearing loss, the time is now to get a hearing test. That test will set you on a path toward the treatment you need, and the latest hearing aids can integrate seamlessly with your work life. When you have hearing aids in place consistently and effectively, your performance at work will thrive, making you even more confident in your ability to perform at your best. Don’t hesitate to start the process toward hearing assistance!