Making a call in public space
Many of us struggle with the best tactics of making calls in quiet and convenient places. This article focuses on calls via the internet, but can also be relevant for phone calls.
The main problem with making calls publicly is noise. Not only does create annoying background noise for the people on the other side of the call, but it’s also annoying for people around you to hear you speak for a long time (for some reason, it is nerve wrecking for people to hear one sided discussion via phone, than a regular conversation of two people speaking.
Also, for most people, it is important that the place you pick for a call is socially acceptable and wouldn’t make you stand out. e.g., taking your laptop on a table in a park might be convenient, but will get you some unwanted attention.
The first option for a call location is of course making calls from home, but some of us can’t stand being at home while making calls.
Here are some ways you can deal with that:
Make sure you have a good data package
Purchase a great phone data plan of fast internet, and that way you can make calls from wherever you are, without any regard for the wifi quality. Many people actually enjoy making skype calls while walking in parks. I find that 4GB a month should be ok to cover me for calls, if I have an office where I work on wifi most of the day.
The only problem is that some calls require sharing screen or working on documents together, so for those, we would need to rely on our data plan, but also find a suitable setting for the call.
Actively search for good calls locations
Every city has some places where you can make calls conveniently. The criteria here is quite simple. The location should have relatively low amount of background noise, and it should have enough distance between you and the people sitting near you so you won’t disturb them (The term “Corner table” comes to mind”)
Since such locations are not easy to find, you have to actively look for them. Start with coffee shops and restaurants with corner tables. Also check hotels as a great option for spacey locations with isolated sitting places.
Rent an Office or Coworking place that allows you to make those calls conveniently
If making calls is a critical part of your day, consider the option to either rent your own office where you can make calls conveniently, or choose a coworking space that has infrastructure for making calls. While picking a coworking location, the first thing I check is if they have a solution for making calls. If the place is amazing, but virtually has no where to escape to for calls (may it be a meeting room, or call booths) I tend to skip on it.
Get great earphones
If you are spending a lot of time making calls, buying good earphones makes a lot of sense. The elements you want to consider while picking earphones is 1)Noise cancellation- That way, you can isolate yourself from your immediate environment 2)Background noise filter- That way who you are speaking with mostly only hears you, and doesn’t get all the background noise around 3)Microphone that is close to your mouth, so you can speak quietly without majorly annoying people around you
Suffer at home for a limited period
Schedule all your calls in condensed batch and do them from home. The important thing here is to schedule them one after the other, usually on a fixed day of the week and leave home the minute you are done with them.