Music in the office - how does it affect your work?

Service Business

If you do something you love, you're never at work. Indeed, when performing tasks in our professional role that bring us genuine joy or satisfaction, we do not need to look for additional motivation. Meanwhile, even the most enjoyable occupation in the world can at some point become boring, boring, even just for a moment. What in this situation, since professional duties must be performed no matter what your approach to them is? Maybe try some music? How does music in the office affect your work?

Music and cognitive skills

Various debates have already been held about the influence of music on human cognitive abilities, on their ability to learn and to work. Scientists agree that music primarily has a positive effect on humans, and only some nuances can cause negative side effects.

Unfortunately, music in itself cannot become a shortcut to a higher IQ and better memory.The world-famous Mozart effect, according to which listening to works created by this composer would increase cognitive abilities from an early age, was unfortunately not supported by scientific experiments. Listening to Mozart's music, other classical music or any other piece of music does not permanently increase our mental abilities. However, this does not mean that it has no immediate impact on the work performed. There is a large percentage of people for whom music helps to concentrate, gives energy or calms them down, makes them in a better mood - and all this translates into efficiency. So should you invest in audio equipment in your workplace? Can music in the office make employees get the so-called powera and they will conquer the industry?

Yes, there is such a possibility. The positive impact of music on work and its effectiveness will depend on several factors - the specific person and their personality, the type of work performed and the style of the music itself.

Music in the office - when, how and what music to listen to?

There are quite a few guides and guides telling you that your taste in music can be a predictor of the ideal job for you. However, it is not that simple - if it were, employment agencies would be replaced by music studios, and there would never be conflicts between employees about which radio station to listen to. Therefore, the first aspect to pay attention to when it comes to music at work is our individual preferences.

Some people learn and work only with music - without a background they can easily get bored and distracted. For others, the music in the office is disturbing, they prefer to listen while relaxing at home. Still others like to listen to pleasant melodies when they perform specific tasks, while with others - e.g. when they have to memorize something - they prefer to concentrate in silence.

In fact, it is difficult to determine what our individual preferences depend on. Most often, they do not depend on temperament or how we acquire knowledge. It would seem that if someone is so-called visually speaking, that is, to learn, he must have details in front of his eyes, he will be indifferent to the sounds flying around his head. On the other hand, the listener should focus without music, so that his best cognitive channel is open only to what he needs to learn. Meanwhile, not necessarily - there are audiences for whom silence is depressing and prefer background music for every activity, even those that strain cognitive resources, and there are audiences so sensitive that only silence allows them to focus. So how do we discover what we prefer? Probably the best method is simply trial and error.

On the other hand, the aforementioned temperament is not without significance for the style of the preferred music. In this case, it can be said with a slightly greater probability that an exuberant extrovert will lean more towards energetic and strong rhythms, while an introvert will feel best surrounded by classical music or jazz. Despite this, you should not always rely on your taste and always listen to the performers we are the biggest fans at work - not all music in the office is conducive to concentration.

This is where Mozart really takes the lead, but not only him. According to research, instrumental music is much better suited to the workplace than songs with lyrics, especially in a native or a foreign language that we know and understand well. These types of songs focus and distract when we humming under our breaths or even following the lyrics in silence in our head. Playing the same piece over and over again has a particularly disastrous effect, thus diverting attention from what we really should be doing.

A third extremely important aspect that can affect whether music in the office improves or reduces efficiency is the type of work that is performed. Therefore, the background music at work will help, first of all, when we have to perform a routine, tedious task that does not require special creativity and the involvement of cognitive abilities. In such a situation, you can even afford your favorite music with lyrics. However, if our work is intellectually engaging, creative and complicated, we should not overdo the additional sounds. On the other hand, people who perform tasks that require concentration often feel the need to cut themselves off from the world and other stimuli. It is not always physically possible, especially if you work in the same room with other people. Then headphones with subdued music are a great barrier against distraction.

The specificity of work also affects not so much the preferences as the ability to listen to music. People who perform tasks individually, at a computer, machine (if the OHS allows it) or in a small team can work with headphones or on the radio. It is obvious, however, that working with a living organism, as a specialist for contact with external companies or a consultant, automatically excludes the possibility of using the soundtrack. The exception is when a specific musical style serves to build the atmosphere and image of the company. Properly selected music in a cafe or SPA is usually irreplaceable.

Music in the office - how to organize a musical space?

Once we know if and what kind of music supports us in our professional work, and we determine that at our workplace it will not interfere with our duties, it is worth considering technical solutions. It turns out that you can encounter considerable problems here.

Employers most often do not raise any objections to their employees making their working day pleasant with music (unless - again - it does not affect work safety). They often provide employees with a radio or a player - or at least speakers connected to the computer. When everyone agrees to turn on the music, a seemingly trivial but really serious problem may arise - what to listen to?

Musical tastes are so diverse that with each additional person in the room, the probability of finding something for everyone decreases. Then a compromise solution has to be found. Some people bet on popular, neutral radio stations to which each of us is more or less used to. Others decide on "something good for everyone", that is, giving the "console" to each of them in turn, so that everyone can enjoy their favorite music at least once in a while.

Both solutions are quite good, but you should bear one thing in mind - music in the office, above all, must not reduce anyone's efficiency. Therefore, if the noise caused by the radio or the chosen style of music means that even one person from the band is tired, distracted, and their results drop, then music (or a certain type of it) has to be abandoned.

The alternative is, of course, headphones, which give employees - especially those working with computers with access to the network - virtually unlimited possibilities. Headphones allow you to listen to exactly what you want and cut off from the outside world if you need to focus. On the other hand, it is worth remembering that such listening to music also cuts us completely off from other people. Therefore, it is worth returning to the outside world for a while and not isolating yourself from your colleagues throughout the working day.

Music soothes manners - it's true, but as you can see, music in the office can also make them worse. That is why it is worth using music with your head when performing professional duties, thanks to which you can increase the efficiency of your own, and sometimes also of your colleagues. Nice and pleasant way, so it's worth a try.