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What Should a Public Servant Sound Like?

When you engage with constituents or work with colleagues, you want to hear and be heard by them. But in the increasingly hybrid workplace, this can become more of a challenge.

Let’s say you’re a remote municipal employee working from home. You’re talking to a resident about a utility bill when – ding dong – the delivery person arrives with a package. The dog starts barking, or the bird starts squawking. Sirens rush by. Now put yourself in your resident’s shoes. Even if you may be fully attuned to the conversation, these distractions can send a nonverbal message that disturb the conversation aurally or visually.

“On either end, you want to know that the person you’re speaking to is listening to you, can hear you, can understand you and is not being distracted,” said James Greene, Business Development Manager of Public Sector at Jabra.

Having industry-leading audiovisual devices will ensure your constituents can receive clear, engaged and trustworthy service.


One state agency’s transportation department needed to equip employees with audiovisual devices for a variety of work. For example, contact center agents needed to interact with residents either in central headquarters or remotely, whereas field staff had to communicate from noisy locations.

The same device wasn’t going to work for different environments. So Jabra provided workers in the field with a device that could reduce up to 95% of background noise. Even if there was a construction tool pounding nearby, they could communicate clearly. For contact center agents, headsets with analytics helped identify the tone and tenor of the person they were speaking to. This helped employees train and provide relevant, empathetic services to residents.


Clear audiovisuals help people stay engaged in conversations. But flexible tools can also help employees do their very best work.

Greene uses a headset, for instance, that allows him to get up from his desk while staying connected to whom he’s speaking to. “Roughly 500 feet from my desk is where I do my best thinking,” Greene said

For many employees too, work can happen anywhere – at your cubicle, in a conference room, in a guest bedroom or on the treadmill. As the hybrid workplace is becoming reality for government, agencies must equip their personnel with professional-grade tools so they can engage in top-quality service wherever they are. Devices shouldn’t limit work; they should follow where the best work happens.


At the end of the day, these audiovisual details build trust. Clear conversations with minimal distractions can make people feel seen and heard as if they were together in the same room. The right solutions to enable secure, high-quality communication from anywhere are vital for nurturing trust.

“Our products were designed for conversations,” Greene said. With solutions for various needs and plug-and-play functionality, Jabra can support a seamless transition to delivering government services in the hybrid workplace.

This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s guide “How to Provide People-Oriented Services: A Guide for State & Local Public Servants.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

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