How Does Music Affect the Workplace?

How Does Music Affect the Workplace?

The music industry is undoubtedly one of the most lucrative and fastest growing businesses in today’s society. Over the years, many companies have been competing to roll out the latest in music streaming software or the newest device to enhance the music listening experience. It’s become increasingly easier to listen to music wherever you are and many workplaces have begun to incorporate music into its daily office culture. At first glance, music in the workplace seems unprofessional, but there are many benefits that music can bring to workers’ productivity.

Studies have shown that music can affect many aspects of a listener’s attitude and cognitive process. Most researchers agree that music has the ability to enhance productivity if the task at hand is not immersive, which is good news for anyone who’s working a repetitive task. A study conducted by the University of Windsor, Canada concluded that listening to music while performing monotonous tasks can improve one’s mood, which positively affects the speed and accuracy at which the tasks are performed.

Some people may thrive in silence, but studies have shown positive correlations between the presence ambient noise levels and participants’ perceived level of creativity. It’s no surprise that loud music can be incredibly distracting, but finding that sweet spot can get those creative juices flowing. According to a study published by the Journal of Consumer Research, the findings suggest that moderate noise levels make it more difficult to process, which notifies the brain to begin abstract processing. This process promotes unconventional ways of accessing information, which may lead to a creative solution.

Scientists debate the benefits and detriments of intelligible speech in songs that are played in the workplace. Some research has suggested that hearing verbal cues from song lyrics can be distracting because the information you receive can hinder the work you are trying to produce. Other research, however, states that song or genre familiarity can be beneficial. Study results suggest that new music is likely to make listeners pay more attention to what will come next, yet familiar songs won’t incite that level of concentration.

While studies aren’t conclusive, they can discern trends and strong correlations. The last few decades have brought about many changes to modern day work and as future generations grow up with an increasing number of stimuli around them, more research should be done to fully understand the implications that music has on productivity in the workplace. That being said, everyone is different and has their own preferences so music may not work for everyone, but it’s certainly not a bad change in the office.

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