Banner reading June Interpreter Spotlight, Jordan Aviles, Mexico. Owner of Desert Comms and Spanish Medical Interpreter

In a post-pandemic world, the impact of COVID-19 has undeniably transformed our lives and the way we work. As we adapt to this new normal, the question remains: which changes are here to stay? Remote interpreting has become a standard across various sectors, including healthcare, business, and legal settings, thanks to its convenience and cost-effectiveness. 

While on-site interpreting has made a resurgence following the pandemic, remote options like Over the Phone Interpreting and Video Remote Interpreting have stayed strong and are expected to grow. So, whether you work with interpreters or are an interpreter, it’s likely you’ll encounter remote interpreting in some capacity.

In this blog, we dive into 5 best practices for remote interpreting. These tips will help you navigate some of the challenges of remote work and prepare you for the best possible experience with remote interpreting.

Trends in Remote Interpreting

Before we dive into best practices, let’s take a look at a few key industry trends:

As you can see, remote interpretation is here to stay and its use is picking up in fields like telehealth and law.

Remote Interpreting Challenges

Even if you’re a seasoned in-person interpreter, remote interpreting poses unique communication challenges. Despite advances, you will, at some point, experience:

  • Difficulty forming a rapport between participants in a virtual setting.
  • Trouble with technology. Difficulty with audio, video, and internet connections.
  • Distractions during calls. You may hear people’s kids, pets, or other noises in the background, which can affect your ability to focus.
  • For on-demand interpreters, you may need to be prepared to be dropped into different contexts and situations without preparation.

5 Best Practices for Remote Interpreting

With some preparation, you can overcome these challenges! Here are five best practices to help you when interpreting remotely:

1. Create a dedicated interpreting space 

To make sure your remote interpreting is top-notch, it’s important to set up a special area just for your work. This space should help you block out noise, create privacy, and ensure you are fully connected to the internet. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A dedicated room with a closing and locking door
  • Up-to-date computer and other key devices that can handle today’s software 
    • We generally say that your devices shouldn’t be older than 5 years
    • Working with two monitors can be helpful when using resources like glossaries
  • A wired internet connection

By having your work zone, you’ll be able to provide a smooth interpreting experience without interruptions.

2. Choose the right headset

Using the right headset is key when interpreting remotely. Make sure you choose a quality headset with a boom mic and other features that aid this kind of work – regular earbuds or airpods just won’t cut it. A good headset will help you hear everything clearly while protecting your hearing, and make sure your voice sounds great, too.

This article contains a lot of good information about picking a headset for remote interpreting, and here are some popular interpreter headsets:

  • Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000
  • Sennheiser 660S
  • Sennheiser SC60

3. Use glossaries and dictionaries

Having the right glossaries or dictionaries on hand can help you be prepared for tough sessions. While you can’t easily use these resources when interpreting onsite, you can have your favorite glossaries or dictionaries pulled up when working remotely. This is especially true if you’re using two monitors!

Here are some of our favorite resources to have pulled up when interpreting from home: 

4. Dress professionally and choose a neutral background

Looking professional is important for remote interpreting and part of that is having a neutral background. We recommend business casual or semi-formal attire and a neutral, solid-colored, and clutter-free background.

Your attire doesn’t have to be strictly Western business casual – choose something semi-formal that suits your culture. By dressing smartly and keeping your background simple, you’ll create a polished and professional image.

5. Pick the right note-taking setup for you

Note-taking is a crucial part of interpreting, so find a system that works best for you. Whether you prefer using a tablet, typing on your computer, or sticking with good ol’ pen and paper, choose a method that helps you stay organized and efficient. Experiment with different options to find the one that works best for you!


The interpreting field has undeniably changed due to the lasting impact of the pandemic. Remote interpreting has become a significant part of our professional lives and is here to stay. 

By following these five best practices, you will be well-prepared to tackle the challenges of remote communication. 

Eager to deepen your understanding of remote interpreting? Be among the first to get your hands on “The Remote Interpreter” textbook, releasing this June. Authored by seven language industry experts, including three members from the Boostlingo team, it’s a comprehensive guide for the remote interpreter. Sign up now for updates and secure your pre-order here: TRI Updates — Cross-Cultural Communications ( 

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