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  • Melinda Murphy

Sorry, I can't hear you.

More than ever, ‘Sorry, I can’t hear you’ has become the most heard line in offices worldwide

  • Danish audio solutions provider, EPOS, says poor audio costs some firms US$70,000 a year in likely income

  • Use of teleconferencing will increase after coronavirus pandemic as businesses look to make savings through flexible working solutions

The coronavirus disease, Covid-19, which has swept across continents, has forced the world to readjust to new ways of life.

One of the noticeable changes – with nations around the world in lockdown, leaving schools and companies closed and students and staff working from home – is the sharp increase in the use of online conferencing tools after face-to-face meetings were deemed risky and social distancing became de rigueur. Although these tools existed long before the start of the pandemic, the drastically increased frequency at which we are using them now means that the sound quality issues we put up with before have become hard to ignore. , a Danish audio solutions provider, office scenarios are re-enacted in which workers are constantly saying to the speakerphone, Can you hear me?” and “What?”. The video’s narrator says: “What is the most expensive word in business today… that wasn’t a question.”

Can you hear the problem?

Dramatisation and humour aside, the video resonates with millions of office workers around the world who have to put up with these pains in audio conferencing. For businesses, miscommunication and the loss of productivity caused by poor sound quality in conference calls come at a price.

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