Many companies throughout the globe subscribe to the age-old adage: Silence is gold. These organizations believe that the most productive and motivated workers are the ones who tend to work in a noiseless environment the whole day – free from any distractions, such as humming along to the beat and groove of a favorite song.

However, science has proven that employees are more productive, more satisfied, and less likely to miss work if they listen to music in the workplace.

A 1999 research study published in the journal of Neuroscience and behavioral physiology indicated that playing rock or classical music allowed participants to identify numbers more accurately and quickly.

In a study performed in 2005, researchers at The University of Windsor noted that the overall quality of work from a team of software developers was at its lowest level when there was no overhead music in the workplace. This clearly shows that if you would like your workers to work well together as well as achieve more in a shorter period, playing music at work may help.

How Music can Help

Learn how playing music in an office can be your ticket to success in the corporate world.

Improves Mood

Music helps create a positive mood change in employees. There are sure to be some days when your workers’ mood may lean on the side of irritable or grumpy. This can happen due to the hustle and bustle of any job, regardless of the industry. Note that when you listen to music you really enjoy, a chemical known as dopamine is released in the brain, making you feel content or happy. Fortunately, this means your employees can just pop in their earbuds and listen to their favorite band to turn that frown upside down.

Work can be mundane and dreary at times. So, to inject a feel-good factor in their work, they can turn up some pop or dance music.

Increases Motivation

At the gym, most people notice that listening to upbeat music helps them go the extra mile. We can say the same holds true for the office. When your employees have exciting and motivational music to listen to in their office, they are likely to become more excited and enthusiastic about coming to the office. This is a phenomenon that often leads to more pride in one’s work, and more motivation to do the best.

Also, film soundtracks can be especially motivating, making some of the most mundane tasks seem enjoyable.

Drowns Out Distractions

There is no denying that it can be hard to concentrate in a noisy office. Some of the distractions in the work environment are chatter from colleagues, a loud photocopier and ringing phones. These distractions can draw your employees’ attention away from the job at hand. By plugging in their headphones, they can escape from the distractions and focus on their work.

Improves Productivity

When nothing else seems to be working in making your employees more productive, the right music may do the trick. Research indicates that ambient music could be the best type of music for improving work productivity. According to another study done in November 2016, the vast majority (79%) of workers can enhance their productivity at work by listening to music.

 A study done by Mindlab International Ltd indicates that dance and pop music produces the quickest overall performance when it comes to getting work done. Also, it helps in cutting mistakes when compared with not listening to music at all. Some of the music genres that improve productivity more than others are nature music, classical music, ambient soundtracks, and cinematic music.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Research indicates that employees find their conversations more satisfying and meaningful when music is playing in the background. This increases their productivity and lowers their anxiety and stress levels. For example, classical music is considered one of the most effective ways to help employees unwind and relax.

This kind of music can have a positive effect on our employees’ physiological functions, lowering blood pressure, slowing both the pulse and heart rate and decreasing the level of stress hormones.

How to Leverage Music in Your Workplace?

It is crucial to educate yourself on various types of music and their impact on your employees’ motivation and concentration.

These insights can be very helpful:

  • You can use trance dance music to improve speed and output. When listening to dance music proofreaders complete their tasks up to 20% faster
  • Classical or orchestral music is great for steady and precise inspiration. Do you know that mathematicians are about 12% more accurate in solving problems when they listen to classical music?

You can create a policy about music in the workplace. This can help avoid a few disadvantages that may come with listening to music at work. Also, you should include this policy in the employee handbook to make sure that your workers understand all your rules on music in the workplace.

You should also make sure that your employees are courteous when they are listening to music. They should not sing along with the music since this can be distracting for co-workers. Moreover, the music must not be so loud that the employee cannot hear anything else as it can be counterproductive.

Final Thoughts

Music indeed has a profound effect on productivity, motivation, and mood in the workplace. However, every office situation and industry is different. This is why different environments often call for different strategies in the office to optimize productivity. Experiment and see what works and what does not.

A good idea is to keep the music volume low and play some easy listening tunes that are not jarring to any fellow employee.  In this regard, non-vocal music, such as classical music or jazz, is better than others as it ensures that workers are not distracted from important conversations in the office.