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Listening to Music in the Workplace

Learning the Role of Music in the Workplace

Posted by: Marcus | Categories:  Industry ResearchLifehacking

The question is simply, does listening to music at work help or hinder productivity?

Different strokes for different folks. There are different views on both sides of the subject.

Mr. Rush's Art Class

My experience with music in a work environment began back in my high school art class.

The art teacher (Mr. Rush) had a turntable in his classroom and was known for playing records that students had brought from home during class.

We all naturally thought that was pretty cool to be able to bring an album from home and be able to listen to it while we worked on projects. It definitly created a fun and positive attitude during class. 

Needless to say RUSH was one of our favorite bands back then and Mr. Rush would refuse to play them!

30+ Years of Experience

I went on to study Graphic Design in college and have over 30 years of experience working in various environments from large agency to small studios.

I have experienced many different thoughts, ideas & changes over that time period concerning music in the workplace. I have worked at places that allowed music and places that did not.

Background Music vs. Earbuds

Over the years we have gone from a radio to turntables, cassette tapes, and now Spotify & Pandora.

Most people I believe, enjoy listening to background music in an open workspace environment.

Thanks to today's technology with Spotify & Pandora, we are able to create studio radio stations. Each of us select some of our favorite artists to add to the station, creating a diverse selection of music to listen to during the workday.

Even when we use the studio radio stations, there might be times where I choose to put in earbuds or headphones to block out background distractions and concentrate more on what I am working on.   

Research

The research I have done on this subject led me to find some interesting facts.

Believe it or not, background music has been used in the workplace for centuries. The benefits of background music in the workplace were quickly recognized:

  • Increased productivity
  • Fewer accidents
  • Improved alertness
  • Team interaction

Looking to enjoy these benefits and add some more variety to your daily work playlists? Check out any one of our monthly music playlists on the C3D blog!

Additional Resources

  1. "How Music Affects Your Productivity." FastCompany
  2. "Does music in the workplace help or hinder?" BBC News
  3. "The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle." The New York Times

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