Many of today’s jobs take place in busy offices, with over half of people in the UK working in an office environment. Whenever lots of people are working in the same place together, noise levels can rise and many of us can attest that distractions sometimes get the better of us, no matter how hard we try to concentrate.
Unwanted interruptions or distractions are two of the main reasons why people pop earphones in and listen to music. It’s scientifically proven to help with concentration and productivity levels, as well as calming stress and anxiety. But is listening to music at work a great idea or a terrible one? And what kind of tracks are the most beneficial? Read our do’s and don’ts of listening to music at work:
Don’t be anti-social
Whilst you may enjoy listening to hardcore heavy metal on full volume, chances are your co-workers most likely won’t. Make sure the volume is turned down to a level where no one else can hear the repercussions of your favourite playlist, as it can be distracting to others. Additionally, be respectful and try to refrain from singing out loud, you may have the voice of an angel but this can be disruptive to those around you. Listening to music at a low to moderate level also allows you to hear conversations on desk, your phone ring, or people calling your name.
Choose your playlist wisely
The type of music you choose to listen to can have an impact on your mood and overall work performance. A great deal of research has shown that listening to classical music whilst working benefits the brain, the immune system, sleeping patterns, and stress levels. Songs with lyrics, on the other hand, can actually have a detrimental effect on your work performance, particularly when trying to read or write. Try to select classical piano music or a movie soundtrack score next time you put your headphones and see how you get on.
When to turn it off
Learning requires your brain to analyse facts and remember instructions – which can be a tricky task when you’ve got music on. It means your brain is trying to process auditory data whilst also processing the new information you’re trying to absorb. This multi-tasking can interrupt your learning ability and the brain’s efforts to concentrate, meaning you may not retain all of the information or remember something incorrectly. Therefore, it’s important to turn music off if you need to learn something new, especially if the track has lyrics. This is particularly true when listening to new music, as your body’s auditory senses can become distracted from the task at hand and shift to concentrating on the new music you like.
When to turn it on
Overall, the majority of research has shown that people who listen to music while they work on repetitive tasks perform faster, better, and make fewer errors. This happens because when you listen to music you enjoy, it triggers the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, which helps you to feel happy, relaxed, and more focused. An improved mood also means you’re more likely to interact positively with those around you. Additionally, music can be inspirational, promoting creative and encouraging thoughts.
Do you like to listen to music at work? What are some of your favourite tracks? Let us know on Twitter @viking_chat.