Have you ever tried to listen closely to a virtual meeting, but all you could hear was a dog barking, a kid talking to their parent, and miscellaneous clicking noises? With more than 4.1 million American employees working remotely at least a few days a week, virtual meetings and the noisy backgrounds that come along with them are the new normal. Removing background noise and reducing unnecessary sounds is critical to leading an efficient meeting. In fact, the World Economic Forum published research that shows loud background noise can lead to a 66% drop in productivity.
Not all virtual meeting platforms are created equal. Many popular virtual meeting platforms lack high-quality audio capabilities and are prone to picking up every honk, dog bark, and baby cry in the background. Using noise cancellation technology, high-quality audio equipment, and encouraging quiet spaces are just a few tips that can help reduce background noise.
Why Does Removing Background Noise Matter?
It might seem trivial, but background noise is incredibly distracting. A doorbell ringing, construction work, or traffic noises mentally take team members out of the conversation, reducing their effectiveness and productivity. Studies show that people’s attention automatically shifts to a new source of sound, so every time the microwave beeps, your team members are breaking their concentration. Even moderate noise increases processing difficulty, making the brain work extra hard to focus on basic tasks.
Also, a noisy background makes for a terrible recording. With many virtual meetings being recorded so employees in different time zones can tune in later, team members might not be able to hear important information if the audio is full of background noise. In fact, research shows that people will often turn off a video if the audio is truly poor quality.
How to Remove Background Noise
Ask Everyone to Mute
The simplest way of removing background noise is to ask everyone to mute their microphones at the beginning of the call. By proactively removing noise, you won’t have to edit your virtual meeting recording. Also, remind team members to stay muted unless actively talking.
Encourage Quiet Spaces
Inevitably, a loud subway ride or busy coffee shop is going to cause background noise. Encourage team members to join virtual meetings from private rooms in their home or co-working spaces — anywhere they can close a door and separate from distractions. This quiet environment will also boost their auditory and visual learning processes so they can get more work done faster.
Utilize Noise Cancellation Technology
Noise cancellation technology has come a long way, and the rise of remote work accelerated its digital transformation. The noise cancellation technology market is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 14% between 2021 and 2026, showcasing the increasing need for clear, distraction-free audio. From headphones and microphones to built-in computer technology, encourage team members to utilize multiple noise cancellation technologies to reduce ambient sounds.
Use High-Quality Headphones and Microphones
While almost all laptops have built-in speakers and audio capabilities, they are typically not top-of-the-line equipment. Adding external headphones and microphones can improve audio quality, reduce ambient sounds, and create a significantly better listening experience for all members. Just because it’s high quality doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive; there are tons of inexpensive headphone and microphone options available online.
Removing Background Noise Easily with the Right Solution
Minimize everyday distractions with UCx with Webex noise cancellation technology, a cloud communications solution that removes background noise and isolates voices. It’s simple to activate; simply select Call Settings, click Call Preferences, Select Audio, and select Remove Background Noise within your UCx with Webex solution. With a few quick steps, your audio becomes crisp and clear with less background noise, creating more productive learning environments and better virtual meeting experiences. Contact TPx to set up a demo today.