Listening to Music at Work: Is it Good or Bad?

Listening to Music at Work: Is it Good or Bad?

|May 22, 2021

There has been a continuous debate on whether listening to music at work is a good or a bad thing. Research has provided us with some answers and suggests that if you listen to music at work it can increase your concertation. What are the dos and don'ts of listening to music in your work environment? What are the types of playlists an office worker should listen to while working? The answers in this reading article may intrigue you.

Do music and productivity go hand in hand? Does music help you work? If you are an office worker who enjoys listening to music while working, in this article by Autonomous, we are going to discuss if listening to music at work can help you increase productivity and efficiency levels and what research on the relationship between music and stress suggests.

The Dos and Don'ts of Listening to Music At Work

The Dos:

  • Keep your music to yourself by listening with a pair of earbuds or headphones.
  • Listen to music that you enjoy and is going to make you happy.
  • Consider the level of volume you are using, not only do you not want to disturb your co-workers but listening to music at a high volume can damage your hearing.
  • Consider getting an ergonomic chair with neck support. If you are an office worker who wants to transport yourself to a place of focus with music, we recommend doing so in style and comfort with an ergonomic office chair such as the Autonomous Chair Recline.

ergonomic chair with neck support

The Don'ts:

  • Compromise workplace safety. Ensure you are paying attention to your work surroundings.
  • Listen to distracting music with lyrics, this is going to hinder your productivity. In the section that follows we have recommended four of the best genres that are a pleasure to listen to while working and boost productivity.

boost productivity

The Types of Music That Can Help You Boost Your Productivity

According to well-known neuroscientists, music can help office workers push through and enjoy doing routine activities. Research suggests that music for work productivity is a legitimate case and can also help you focus more on the job at hand. Now that you know that when you listen to music at work it can help you be more productive in the work environment, we are going to talk about four types of music that can help you be more productive at work.

             1. Classical Music

2. Video Game Sounds

3. Lo-fi Beats

4. Nature Sounds

Classical Music

classical music

One of the most common genres of music to listen to while working is classical music. Multiple studies suggest that concretion and reasoning ability increase while listening to soft classical symphonies. Classical music is cited as the best genre of music to listen to while working.

The Mozart Effect is a reference often used for the action of listening to classical music when working or studying. It is suggested that listening to Mozart for even a brief period every day, can boost your productivity and concentration.

For example, in 2015, researchers compared the influence of Mozart's "K. 448," a musical piece for two pianos, and Beethoven's similarly famous "Für Elise," a solo piano piece. Mozart's sonata enhanced "alpha band" brain waves, which have been attributed to memory, cognition, and problem-solving; however, Beethoven's sonata has no such impact.

There's also the finding that mice who were given 10-hour Mozart K. 448 recitals for 10 weeks were slightly better at solving a complicated labyrinth than mice who were given Beethoven's Für Elise instead.

Video Game Sounds

Do you enjoy gaming in your spare time while not at the office? Well, we have good news for you, the music genre of video game sounds can also improve your attention and focus in an office setting. The music in video games is designed to keep you awake and focused on the game you are playing, it is for this reason that this genre of music is one of the highest-rated types of music to listen to when needing to concentrate on the task at hand.

Lo-fi Beats

YouTube is filled with productivity playlists with millions of views, but one of the top-rated and most view music genres for productivity are Lo-fi beats. Lo-fi is a relatively new genre of music that has become popular amongst students that are working, studying, and working out and need something to help them focus.

This type of music genre features the sounds of technical flaws such as background noise, humming, live sounds being recording and distortion. As strange as this one sounds, these technical flaws in the music can trigger the frontal lobe of the brain that helps maintain focus and get into a great mindset for work.

Studies have shown that this type of music is beneficial to students and even adults at work. According to one poll, 86 percent of listeners have noticed an improvement in their productivity and research patterns.

Nature Sounds

nature sounds

Who doesn't enjoy the sounds of the ocean waves, the rain pouring down, a crackling fireplace, thunder, or the sound of birds chirping? Natural sounds are a positive workplace music genre and according to various psychological evidence and sound-field studies published in the Journal of America's Acoustic Society.  It allows you to focus more on your job and the task at hand. This has the potential to improve emotional functioning as well as your ability to concentrate.

Can Music Reduce Your Stress Levels?

reduce your stress levels

Music is one of the most accessible ways to transport yourself to a distant planet. According to research, music and stress are related. Music has a positive effect on your health, especially your mood and anxiety levels.

Music has a powerfully calming effect on both the mind and the body. Slow and quiet music can have an impact on you, lowering the stress hormones and slowing your heart rate. Furthermore, high beats will improve your mood and influence your psyche. 

The Bottom Line

Music is widely used as a stress-relieving instrument. Listening to music at work can improve your brain's cognitive ability, improve your listening ability, boost productivity and focus levels, and decreases stress. Listen to music if you are nervous or need to concentrate. Simply put your headphones on and listen to your “music for work” playlist when you are doing something that requires your undivided attention.

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