What Listening to Music at Work Does for Productivity (It’s Pretty Great)

Across the office, someone is cursing at a jammed printer. Jeff is loudly munching on chips in the cubicle next to you. Would plugging in headphones be rude? Does listening to music even improve concentration? Luckily for you, many instances and studies prove so.

Productivity

When it comes to repetitive tasks the answer is yes. Research from Applied Ergonomics discovered “that music is effective in raising efficiency in this type of work even when in competition with the unfavorable conditions produced by machine noise.” Therefore, listening to music when working on repetitive tasks increases work speed and productivity. According to a study on the effect of music listening on work performance found “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.” This could be why surgeons listen to their favorite tunes in the operating room.If you are just looking for background music, ambient tunes are the way to go. 

Increased Mood

Not only can music help productivity but it can also boost your mood. Nothing gets those creative juices pumping better than a good Spotify playlist. The brain releases dopamine when listening to your favorite songs, which leads to overall efficiency. When we feel better, we work better. Even if you see co-workers with headphones you may want to check with your boss to make sure it fits company guidelines. This is a great way to break the monotony of the work day. 

Keep it Simple

However, if you’re listening to new music or a song that is too wordy it can backfire.  Especially if paired with a new project at work. This is because your brain is working too hard trying to digest the music so your tasks suffer. So, it's best to listen to music you already know or just listen when working on projects you are already a pro at. 

So, crank it up! Ultimately, listening to music will benefit your workday productivity. Just don’t get caught dancing on top of your desk. 

Photo 1 courtesy of pocketrocketuk.blogspot.com. Photo 2 courtesy of onlinelearningconsortium.org.