You probably listen to music almost every day of your life. No matter if it’s the latest pop hit from Justin Bieber or some golden oldies like the Rolling Stones we all love a song to relax to. But have you ever stopped to think how music can make you more productive in the workplace?
No, we don’t mean listening to music for 10 minutes during your break, we mean listening to music while working. You might be surprised at just how beneficial listening to music while working can be.
In a noisy work environment, music is a great way to escape the constant distractions of the workplace. Printers humming, telephones ringing, keyboards clanking, office gossip, the list is endless!
All of these noisy distractions can constantly distract your trail of thought. These distractions mean less time thinking about the job in hand and more time trying to remember what you were just thinking about!
So how can music help?
A research paper from the University of Windsor, Canada explored the question of just how useful music is in a workplace environment. The paper concludes that music is beneficial when doing repetitive tasks that are clearly defined. This means tasks that you’ve done before and have a clear idea of what needs to be done and how it needs to be done.
This could be anything like running a weekly report, sending a batch of emails or even hovering the office floor.
The research paper also went on to say that:
“The results indicated that state positive affect and quality-of-work were lowest with no music, while time-on-task was longest when music was removed. Narrative responses revealed the value of music listening for positive mood change and enhanced perception on design while working. Evidence is provided of the presence of a learning curve in the use of music for positive mood alteration.”
As you can see, the quality-of-work was the lowest and the time spent on the task was the longest when not listening to music. When the music was introduced for the tasks, workers moods improved dramatically.
So now you know you work better while listening music is it time to blast out the latest Justin Bieber song? Think again.
Lyrics are often too distracting when it comes to intensive work such as writing. Lyrics in songs destroy your focus, just like trying to hold a conversation while another person talks over you.
So what’s the best music to listen to? Although you might have heard this before, it’s actually classical music. Any classical music as long as it doesn’t have singing is the best choice.
Other instrumental music such as dance, trance, and dubstep can be too fast and wild. These types of music often have a range of frequencies that can trigger headaches after prolonged listening.
If you want a good idea of some classical composers, then we would suggest the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Chopin. Although none of them are alive today, their music lives on. If people are still listening and performing their work hundreds of years on, then you know it’s good music!
Give it a try yourself, the next time you’re distracted at work put on some classical music to drown out all that unwanted background noise. You’ll be surprised how focused you feel after a quick 30-minute session.