Does your job require you to spend a significant amount of time on the phone each day? Then you know that holding a telephone handset or cell phone can be uncomfortable and awkward at times. It can be especially awkward if you have to take handwritten notes, type on the computer, or use a mouse while on the phone. After an hour or two of making phone calls with a handset, your neck, back, and/or shoulders may start to tense up causing you physical discomfort for the rest of the day.
There are two solutions to the handset dilemma: one is to use a speaker phone and the other is to use a hands-free headset.
The speaker option is practical if you are in the privacy of your own home or car, but not in an office setting. And even then, I would caution against the use of a speaker. It would certainly free up your hands, but the background noise could be distracting. Let’s say you are on the phone with a potential client, you wouldn't want your dog barking, children screaming, or car horns blaring in the background – it’s unprofessional.
The alternative solution is to use a headset.
Once you decide to use a headset, it’s important to do some research before going to buy just any headset; they are not all made equally. First, decide if you prefer the headband type, one that hangs over your ear, or one that goes in your ear. Depending on your personal preferences, one might be more comfortable than the other. Next, you may want to consult coworkers or read reviews of some different brands and models to help narrow down your list of options. Finally, if feasible, go to an office supply store and try the different headsets on. If an employer is providing headsets to employees, it will be beneficial to both parties to have a selection of headsets for employees to choose from. Everybody’s needs are different and it’s an easy solution to keep everyone happy.
So, now you've bought your headset, learned how to use it, and wonder how you ever lived without it. Just like any other piece of life-changing technology, it’s important to keep it clean. You can use soapy water and a warm, damp cloth or a few drops of rubbing alcohol to remove the dirt and grime off the headset at least once a month. Remember, do not soak the headset in any liquid and always be gentle. If you have any questions, please consult the manufacturer’s user guide.
Have you recently started using a headset? Tell us how it’s increased your productivity or positively changed your work style.