How Does Music Affect Office Productivity?

Mr. Solomon arrives earlier than everyone else to the workstation. On most days, the rest of us arrive to meet him performing his morning rituals, which basically involves him drenching himself in worship songs playing from his HP Pro 3520 desktop PC. He says the music often helps him get through his early morning tasks, which are usually the most tedious.

When he’s done and out of the office for official duties in town, whoever is motivated enough among us takes over from him, and throughout the day, even through the heat of pressing office duties, our surest companion becomes music.

We have no specific DJ, so we often have to listen to anyone whose mood first gets adjusted to streaming songs for the rest of us. While we do not often pay any particular attention to the songs playing, we simply nod our heads to the rhythm, leaving our subconscious to help us nibble on the melody seeping out of the speakers. Sometimes, though, when we are not really feeling the music shuffle playing out of the speakers of someone’s device, we plug in our earphones and play our own choices of music, just loud enough to block out the distraction of the music playing in the background.

Even though we may have never had this conversation among ourselves, we seem to have come to a tacit agreement that we work better with something playing in the background. In fact, when the workstation is eerily quiet, devoid of any sound of music, the mood is sullen and work seems to go very slowly.

This has led me to ask; how much does music affect productivity in the office space?

According to research, listening to music releases dopamine in the brain, the same “feel good” chemical that is triggered when you smell a pleasing aroma or when you’re in love. The basic implication of this is that music puts you in a good mood, which is very beneficial to productivity. Music also helps you block out environmental noises, helping you concentrate better at a specific task.

However, it is not this simple, as not all types of music are suitable for productivity, especially in an office space.

It is important to play music in a low, intimate volume. This is because when the music is too loud, it interferes with the serenity of the office environment, and this may become a distraction.

Also, it is important for you to listen to music you’re familiar with, as new music would demand more attention from you while you’re trying to fully absorb the new rhythm into your mind.

The less lyrics the music has, the better for you. Songs with too many wording may distract you as you’ll find yourself dividing your attention between two information at the same time.

What sort of music do we play at the workstation though?

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