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How to Listen to Music in the Office


The 70’s Walkman began the revolution of listening to music on-the-go, personalizing your song repertoire, and ensuring that it’s private. Since then, the invention of MP3 players and the iPod have broken new ground for this type of portable audio entertainment. The list goes on to include cassettes, CDs, earphones/headphones, playlists, and custom patterns and styles. The desire to have your music follow you throughout the day is not associated with just one group in particular. For High School students, the new norm is to bring their music players to school so they can show off their brand new, bright blue iPod mini to all their friends. Meantime in the business world, music follows professionals from their beds, to their daily commutes and finally, to their desks at the office. This is essentially how and when listening to music became an integral part of our everyday life as we know it.

 

From your commute to your desk

Rocking out to Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of your lungs in the privacy of your own car, might possibly be the highlight of your day. By bringing earphones to work, that music motivation doesn’t have to end! Let the music play, and easily transition from your cozy car into your work station. Have your music follow you as you make your way through the work hallways, politely nodding good morning to your co-workers, and subtly landing at your desk (only 5 minutes late). By continuing to let the likes of Queen boost your morning energy, or cool tunes from Dave Matthews put you in a stress-free trance, your mood will improve, your work performance will spike and your boss will be just about as satisfied as he’ll ever be!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Jamming at Work

  1. Use earphones! Unless you’re in a trendy, open-office workspace where your boss plays his sitar for everyone and encourages unity and harmony, earphones are essential. Perhaps even splurge for a noise-isolating pair to limit yourself from distractions, and boost concentration and productivity.
  2. Be respectful. Keeping the volume at a decent level is another necessity for both yours and your co-workers’ focus. Make it low, but not too low that you hear your neighbors gossipping. If somebody is trying to get your attention, it’s crucial that you can hear them. And make it loud, but not too loud that everyone around you can hear it blaring. You want to be able to hear your own thoughts too!
  3. The match game -- choose your music carefully so that it can match the task at hand. There is no way that you will be able to calculate this year’s annual sales performance if David Guetta and Akon are telling you to “play hard.” Soft, soothing focus beats are the way to go; songs with slow BPMs and relaxing melodies to keep your mind calm (but don’t put yourself to sleep!).
  4. The office is NOT a karaoke bar! In your car is one thing, but the office is no place to test out those vocals. We advise not listening to anything that will make you want to sing along to. Trust us, that wouldn’t do anyone any good. For one, it’s distracting, and simply put, not productive at all. Perhaps classical music is best, but once again, it may depend on what type of work you need to get done.

 

Fun Facts About Music & Productivity

In order to test exactly what genres of songs encourage productivity at work, Mindlab International conducted an experiment on behalf of MusicWorks. The study consisted of 26 participants who were given a series of different tasks for five days (spell-checking, mathematics, data entry, and so on). During the experiment, researchers noticed that participants made the most mistakes when they were not listening to any music at all. The most interesting finding however, was discovering the “perfect work song”. Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis concluded the different genres that are better suited for particular types of tasks, and that one specific song resulted in an astonishing 65% reduction in anxiety. This song, entitled “Weightless” by Marconi Union, was in fact constructed by a group of sound therapists in order to do just that. They are experts in combining the perfect amount and patterns of harmonies and rhythms to slow someone’s heart rate, blood pressure, and reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone). With studies like this one, it’s clear that listening to music at work benefits everyone!

Got a tight deadline to meet? Desperately trying to avoid the office gossip that surrounds you? Maybe you’re just in need of a mid-day pick me up? Say no to that fourth cup of coffee and instead, reach into your bag and grab your earphones. Power through the rest of the day, the week, the month -- and let the music lead the way!
Happy Tuesday everyone!


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