58% of People Would Accept Used Headsets

Used Headsets Poll Featured Image

853 members of our LinkedIn Community responded to Tony’s question ‘How would you react if you started at a new company, and they provisioned you a used headset?’

There was an interesting split of responses from our industry professionals, and we wanted to share the results with you in case you missed it:

Used Headsets Poll Graph
Reaction for Used HeadsetResponse %
Used headset if properly clean47%
Used headset is fine11%
Request for a new one29%
I’ll buy my own13%

13% of respondents said they would buy their own headset, unlike the 29% who would request the company to provide them with a new one.

In today’s economic climate, it is surprising that so many people would buy their own rather than request a new one.

This poses the question – are employees making the choice to buy their own headsets out of preference, or is it a reflection of how employers in the contact centre industry are perceived and staff don’t want to be known for causing a ‘problem’?

58% of respondents in total said that a used headset would be acceptable, although 47% did say that this would only be the case if it was properly cleaned.

This high percentage of respondents who were positive about used headsets could reflect people’s preference for a more environmentally friendly workplace, as long as they still have the right equipment.


A number of respondents also left comments explaining their choices and providing additional insights into people’s views on used headsets:

Provide Options

Provide options, people like choice and you’re also empowering them. Let them either take a used grade A clean headset with new ear sponges from a sustainability perspective OR offer them the option of a brand new one.

How the message is delivered is likely to determine what choice they make, and in today’s world, where sustainability is high on the agenda, it’s likely they may opt for the used headset.

Thanks to Bridget

I’d Buy My Own

These days I would say I’d buy my own, as I understand the value they bring to my work.

For any business to take a risk on spoiling the first-day experience of a new employee, though, over a comparatively small sum (when you consider what it costs to hire the employee) would be foolish, so a well-refurbished used headset should be the minimum they should consider providing.

Thanks to Rudy

Refurbishments Are Spares

In the overall scheme of the total cost of recruiting, then offering a brand new headset to ensure the very best first impression to a potentially valuable employee is the least you can do.

Refurbishments are spares for when headsets are left at home or lost.

Thanks to Carl

Use a Professional Partner to Sanitize and Refurbish

So long as the company is using a professional partner to sanitize and refurbish/verify functionality then employees who refuse to use them should go and work elsewhere.

Of course, you supply new foams and don’t recycle.

Would you give everyone a new keyboard, chair, workstation? Of course not.

Thanks to Thomas

Sharing Equipment Could Lead to Illness

Back when I was on the phones at another company, this is what they did. I requested my own – to take the cost out of my pay cheque. That was over a decade ago.

Now, I would just walk out. We are in a constantly evolving pandemic – our employees’ health and wellbeing have to be our top priority. Sharing equipment could very easily lead to someone getting very ill.

Thanks to Teresa

There Should Be Two Priorities

Not if it was cleaned properly.

And that’s the difference, right?!

There should be 2 priorities here…

  1. Sustainability – Why throw away a £50 to £100 headset and cause more waste!?
  2. Employee experience – Tell them it’s been fully sanitized (and ensure that it HAS), let them break the card seal that tells them it’s been sanitized properly, and then hand them over – with a brand-new earpiece and microphone cover to attach themselves.

Thanks to Paul

People Seem Quite Satisfied With a Refurbished Mobile Phone

Years ago, I got a used headset, of which the foam part was caked in foundation. Had that been swapped out I’d have been none the wiser.

People seem quite satisfied with a refurbished mobile phone, so if the headset can be used forward in Grade A condition, why not?

Thanks to Philip

It Must Be “A Grade” Clean and Work

I’d use a second hand one if it looked “A grade” clean, but in my head, I’d be starting to worry about the business.

That being said, from a sustainability point of view, I think we need to move past this sort of thinking.

If there’s nothing wrong with it, and it’s been sanitized, then keep it. Companies practising this need to double-check properly there’s nothing wrong with it, though.

I’ve seen this happen before, and wires were damaged but not immediately obvious. That agent was then stuck with a half-broken headset for weeks because they didn’t order any new ones to have at hand.

Thanks to Paul

Source: Poll conducted in our LinkedIn Community Sample size – 853 Date: 2022

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 1st Dec 2022
Read more about - Contact Centre Research,

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