Three ways Roger On can help your patients heading back to the office
Returning to work after months of home office can be exhausting for those with hearing loss. Whitney Spagnola shares how Roger On is helping her at the office and tips on how to offer Roger technology.
My first real job out of college was a bland office gig. Sure the people were nice and the work was interesting, but time off and weekends were always better.
I worked there eight years, and one of the standout memories I have there is the day after a week-long vacation with friends: that first day back into work was the longest day in my professional life.
Flash forward 15 years, my career has changed. And instead of a week off… I spent the last fifteen months at home! I went into the office two times last week to meet with people in-person. After the year of pandemic professionalism (blouses, mascara and yoga pants in my home office), being with colleagues was so awesome AND exhausting.
For very different reasons, yet still very tangible ones, this was the second longest day in my professional life. The listening fatigue just about knocked me out.
So on day two, I wised up and brought my Roger On. I challenged myself to use the microphone in every meeting, every encounter, and have it at the ready on my desk.
Three ways Roger On improved my day in the office
1. Meeting with multiple colleagues in person
I had an important meeting with 8 people and I realized that the heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) system is so much louder than my home office fan.
My boss – who I’m still getting to know – is a soft talker
My VP – who is brand new – has an accent
Why do these details matter…? Because under that HVAC system (with my high frequency loss and hearing aids alone) I would not have understood accents and soft speech without Roger.
How Roger On helped: Using Roger On with the myRoger Mic app allowed me to hear the people I needed and ignore the noise I didn’t.
2. Meeting with a few in-person colleagues and a few remote ones
At this point, our conference rooms are smarter than me. I never can get the sound right (e.g., remote folks are always soft).
In small rooms, my in-person colleagues are actually loud enough for my mild-moderate hearing loss to hear with no extra help.
How Roger On helped: Placing the Roger On in front of the computer’s speakers let me hear my remote colleagues and using the myPhonak app, let me control the Environmental Balance, so my in-person colleagues weren’t too loud.
3. Walking back to our desks after a meeting
Hearing the conversation, despite noisy copiers
Following the conversation, when you cannot speech read
How Roger On helped: Clipping the Roger On to my notebook let me hear easily when we were all strolling back to our desks, six(ish) feet apart.
Different jobs strain employees communications skills in nuanced ways. Mine are very habitual. I don’t have the complexities of a mechanic, retail, food service worker, a teacher, etc. But at the 40k foot view, most challenges at work are distance, noise, and obstacles (like HVAC or masks).
How Roger helps outside of my office life
I know I’m biased. I work for the manufacturer who created this amazing technology. But my livelihood is counter balanced by my life.
I have two children with hearing loss. I have hearing loss and my dad has age-related hearing loss. We all have premium hearing aids – which are filled with magical algorithms to improve the speech clarity and our comfort – nonetheless, we all still struggle listening in noise and at a distance.
My kids cannot afford to miss lessons; my dad cannot afford to miss the socialization; and I cannot afford to misunderstand work meetings. No matter which hearing aid goes on a patient’s ear, there is only one Roger.
At some point, my employer will pull us all back into the office. I am excited that despite HVAC, distance, masks, etc. – that I can replicate my ‘Day 2.’ Listening fatigue and misunderstandings do not have to be realities of professional survival. Roger On can let me customize my hearing so I can thrive at work.
This short video I made show you can begin to talk to your patients about Roger.
Tips from Whitney
1. Talk to your Phonak rep about getting a Roger On Demo (plus Roger NeckLoop) to conduct your in office conversations easier.
2. Use easyguide.phonak.com to recommend the right microphone
Ask your patients about what causes the most communication challenges at work. Do they struggle just with distance? Do they need to hear side conversations? Are they always listening in noise? How do these challenges impact their perceived ability to do their job?
This helps frame out where an adaptive remote microphone will fit into your hearing healthcare solution.
Let your patients and their family members listen to the Roger On. Once you know what their challenges are – you can emphasize the Roger features that solve their problems.
I can tell you from experience, that listening to Table Mode, while seeing it managed through the app, is more powerful than any exploratory conversation.
Show your patients the Roger On and myRoger Mic. When I put this mic in my hands, my jaw dropped at how small it is. It’s tiny compared to the Roger Pen. The clip is more durable than the Roger Select. And overall it’s the least ‘intrusive’ mic in the Roger portfolio.
Working adults are covered under their federal protections. In the US, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires that employers provide employees with reasonable accommodations to do their jobs.
A study* showed that Roger technology helps hearing aid users understand speech in noise and over distance up to 10x better than people with normal hearing.1 No, I didn’t pull out my phone’s decibel meter last week, but sitting under that HVAC system was probably pretty close to 75 dB!)
It’s incredible to think of the ways Roger can re-level the playing field. This is a great example of a ‘reasonable’ accommodation for working adults.
*Based on a study with moderate to severe hearing loss in 75 dB of noise.
Thibodeau L. (2014). Comparison of speech recognition with adaptive digital and FM remote microphone hearing assistance technology by listeners who use hearing aids. American Journal of Audiology; 23(2): 201-10.