So we asked our social media followers if they play music in the office during their working day. 71% of people who responded said yes compared to 29% who said they preferred silence.
Here's some feedback:
- “Love a bit of noise me!!”
- “Absolutely. Coffee, music, then work!”
- “All the time. Helps me focus”
- “I can't listen to music while I work because it makes me want to sing. Lol. I have tried Classical FM but prefer silence.”
- “Depends what I'm doing. If I'm Being creative then yes.... but if I'm building campaigns or doing something involving complex logistics then silence is the only way.”
- “No I find it distracting”
Increasingly, more companies are permitting music to be played in the workplace and seeing an increase in productivity. Hearing one of your favourite songs can enhance your mood and get you feeling motivated, especially if you’re not enjoying the task you’re working on!
But what type of music gets the creative juices flowing and what is deemed too distracting?
Different genres of music have varying effects on our brains. What boosts productivity for one person may be distracting for others.
For those who do enjoy listening to music during creative sessions, an atmospheric presence seems to work best.
A study in the Journal of Consumer Research has shown that a moderate noise level can get creative juices flowing, but the line is easily crossed; loud noises made it incredibly difficult to concentrate. Bellowing basses, screeching synths and lyrics will do you more harm than good when engaging in deep work.
A 2015 study from the Acoustical Society of America found that when it came to sound-masking with ambient noise, “natural” sounds, such as waves at a beach, also improved subjects’ ability to concentrate.
Whether deliberately created or naturally occurring, a soft background noise is what you should aim for. It is suggested that classical music is a good choice due to the lack of lyrics, and Baroque-period tunes have a measurable impact on productivity. However, not all classical music is appropriate and the advice is to select delicate sounds. See more about how music can affect your productivity here.
The environment you create impacts the behaviour you get.
The general rule would be to embrace the sounds of nature, drop the bass music, play your favourite songs but beware of being distracted by the lyrics if you need to focus on the task at hand and don’t play your music too loud!
Do you listen to music in the office and if so, does it make you more creative and/or productive?