Your hearing loss can change the way you interact with your coworkers, decrease your productivity and even impact your wages. There are steps you can take to limit the effects of your hearing loss at work.
Financial Impacts of Hearing Loss
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, workers with hearing loss are more likely to have a lower income. More precisely, people with hearing loss made about 25% less than their hearing coworkers. They’re also at higher risk for unemployment.
Hearing loss affects your daily workflow, which may result in a loss in promotion, advancement and wages.
Hearing Loss and Workplace Safety
Your job may rely on your hearing to catch warning signals, alerts and alarms. Any missed signal may result in injury to yourself or your coworkers.
Some jobs require adhering to strict procedures and instructions to ensure employee safety. Missing or mishearing instructions could prove disastrous for your physical health. Hearing loss also impedes your ability to hear fire alarms and other safety systems.
Communicating with Coworkers
Everyday communication at work is greatly affected by hearing loss. You may struggle to maintain work relationships with coworkers because you can’t hear what they’re saying. Maybe you even avoid engaging in conversation, which can lead to frustration, isolation and depression. It’s also difficult for your employer to make appropriate accommodations when you don’t inform them of your needs.
Hearing aids and assistive listening devices (ALD): Research suggests that hearing aids can reduce the risk of income loss by 65 to 77% for people with moderate to severe hearing loss. Using hearing aids and ALDs improves your chance to engage at work and be mentally present for meetings and presentations.
Find a good workspace: Talk to your employer about working in a quiet space, especially if your job requires phone conversations. The fewer auditory distractions you have, the more effectively you’ll be able to work.
Prep for meetings: Getting meeting agendas beforehand will help you prepare for presentations. Take notes or ask about meeting minutes, so you don’t miss pertinent information.
Advocate for yourself: No one knows your hearing loss better than you. Cluing your coworkers in on your needs will help them learn to communicate with you effectively. You have the skills and knowledge to perform your job well, so it’s essential to discuss your hearing loss at work.