How to overcome noisy environments at work

Fernando used to struggle with noisy environments. Now he attends large, global conferences with no problem. Find out how.

Fernando lives and breathes the global economy. As the Head of Treasury for a publicly listed transport company in Sao Paolo, Brazil, the 46-year old needs to keep abreast of trends affecting the global economy – from emerging trade wars to renewable energy.

So, an opportunity to attend a banking conference in his home city held by Bank of America about current geopolitical trends was a no-brainer.

The fact that he was one of about 1000 banking professionals at what is typically a very noisy event didn’t concern Fernando, even though he has hearing loss and is a bilateral cochlear implant recipient.

‘That would have been a big hurdle for me in the past,’ says Fernando, who was born with severe to profound hearing loss. 

But struggling to hear and understand voices in noisy environments is a thing of the past for Fernando with his Cochlear™ Nucleus® 6 Sound Processor. The inbuilt SmartSound® iQ SCAN technology automatically adjusts the sound processor’s microphone to suit the environment you are in.

‘It cuts out the background noise and allows you to understand conversations and speech in noisy environments. At a banking conference, I can now understand 100% what they’re saying.’


Understanding the detail is important for Fernando, who relies on being up to date with the latest market information when negotiating high-value loans and derivatives with international banks and investors. 

Using the technology, Fernando easily participates in webinars, delivers presentations, and can understand colleagues and event speakers with foreign accents, which is crucial in his line of work. 

One challenge for Fernando is trying to keep up with conversations if there are many people in the meeting room talking at the same time. 

Being able to see people’s faces when they are talking helps him to follow the conversation, he says. 

‘Always pay attention to the meeting host and look at people’s eyes. Try to grab their attention by making small movements with your hands; this can help grab people´s attention and they will look at you.’ 

Fernando’s other tip is to use digital tools to support you in the workplace. He uses mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn® for professional networking to connect with others using text-based apps rather than relying on audio.

Working at home is quite a change for Fernando, who is used to attending international conferences

YouTube and Google are also useful when it comes to understanding foreign accents, says Fernando who frequently travels and has worked for international companies for many years.

‘I try to learn the words that are widely spoken in a country. I watch YouTube and make some notes so I can understand some of the local phrases,’ he says. 

‘At work you have to be wary that you will have to learn lots of new sounds. Just listen to them and ask people if you don´t recognise them. You should never get stressed. The sounds will come in naturally over time. 

‘Try to pay attention to people that sit behind you, and listen to them talking. I had a wonderful experience when my colleague from the investors relations department was talking to one of our investors over the phone and I could understand 100% of what she was saying. I just smiled and was very thrilled,’ says Fernando. 

‘If you are always eager to learn things, it makes it much easier. And never give up, never be afraid. We always grow in adverse environments.’

Click here to find out more about the Cochlear Nucleus Sound Processors.


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Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

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