Are you working from home right now?

If so, you've got plenty of company. Since the pandemic began, tens of millions of American workers have started doing exactly that, but there's a problem.

While working from home has its upsides, it also tends to be a bit noisier, especially if you have children, neighbors, or pets.

Noise at home is a problem

Much of the time, it's possible to work around children and/or pets, especially if you can schedule virtual meetings when your little one is napping or lock the family dog out of your home office for a little while. Or, you could be in a very important virtual meeting and your neighbor could be running a loud snowblower outside, right beside your office window. Unfortunately, it's not always possible to do avoid noise, which is why companies that make teleconferencing and messaging software have been working hard to come up with software-based solutions.

Microsoft develops fix in Teams

Microsoft hasn't been a slouch in this department. Recently, they've added powerful new capabilities to their Teams application which relies on artificial intelligence to help filter out those unwanted, often unexpected background noises.

It's an idea that's been in the works for quite some time. In fact, the company first announced they were working on it back in March of this coming year (2021) when they introduced an early version of the technology that proved to be capable of canceling the nose of opening a bag of potato chips. In that test, the sound made by opening the bag was completely suppressed, while the test subject's voice remained clearly audible, which is impressive indeed.

Test it now

Although the new noise-canceling feature didn't make it into the software in time to help with Thanksgiving chaos, you can test it out now, and just in time for New Years' too!

To begin experimenting with it, if you're using the desktop app, go into the Settings menu by clicking on the user icon in the upper right portion of your screen. Select "Devices" and then turn on the "Noise Suppression" option.

Our perspective

Note, however, that if you're a Mac user, you'll have to wait a bit to gain access to the noise suppression technology. Right now, it's only available for Windows 10 users. If you're one of those, be sure to check it out at your next opportunity.

 

~ Quote from Ellen Goodman. “I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced
they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference.” ~

 

By Denis Wilson

Cybersecurity Expert, Small Business Technology Consultant, Managed Services Provider, Managed IT Support

Thanks for reading this short post. For more tips on thriving with small business technology, check out the other blog posts at DWPIA Blogs. You can find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

I am also a published author and speaker in cloud computing, work at home, and cybersecurity. I am working extensively with business and professional associations to provide small business technology education programs. Contact me if you would like me to speak at your association