Most people experience the most peaceful moments of their day during their work commutes. It’s a time to have the first beverage of the day with some good music. It’s been said that music is one of the triumphs of human creativity, but a lot of people ask if music itself can help one create. It’s a valid question, considering the fact that one big part of today’s workplace is music. Just as art enhances space, music decorates time.
“Music is a pervasive part of much of our daily lives, whether we consciously notice or not. . . Music might melt into the background in places like supermarkets or gyms and other times it’s very prominent like places of worship or presidential nominating conventions. Our results show that people seem more likely to get into sync with each other if they’re listening to music that has a steady beat to it,” – Kevin Kniffin.
With the ubiquity of smartphones and other mobile devices and the accompanying apps and streaming services, music is not new to the workplace. This is encouraged by the increasing number of companies that use music to incentivize their workers. We spend about a third of our day at work and since so much of this work is done on computers, music has become a way to make would-be boring tasks more approachable.
We all know and understand the pleasing effects of music, but few of us know that playing and listening to music has several other benefits. Music can improve productivity – get tasks done faster, help us focus more and be more efficient. While not all kinds of music can accomplish this, certain kinds of music are known to stimulate cognition and understanding how will help you use it for your own benefit.
Music aids concentration
A regular workplace has several distractions. From open-office debates to humming and ringing office equipment, a noisy environment brings productivity to a screeching halt. Working with headphones is not the distraction some companies think it is. A study involving I.T specialists showed that those who listened to music were faster to finish tasks and could come up with better ideas than those who did not, because their moods were improved by the music. Open plan offices definitely encourage collaboration, but when you need to tackle work that demands concentration, the noise can become too much. Drowning out the noise definitely helps you get back in the mood for serious work. According to Dr. Sood of Mayo Clinic, it takes just 15 minutes to a half-hour of listening time to regain concentration. Music without lyrics usually works best.
Mundane tasks are made more enjoyable
Several experiments studied the relationship between performing a repetitive task with background music and the efficiency of the worker when performing such a task. Results show that using music in repetitive work like that of an assembly line shows a marked increase in happiness and efficiency. So the next time you have a clearly defined, repetitive task, research suggests that turning up the background music will improve both your efficiency and mood. Some modern studies may argue that the improved mood, not the music itself that causes improved productivity.
Music creates a better work environment
According to a survey by U.K. licensing bodies PPL and PRS for Music, 77% of businesses reported an increase in the morale of their staff and a general improvement in office atmosphere when music was played in the workplace. In short, office workers prefer music to subdued office chatter – or silence.
What to play?
So now that you know music is good for your productivity at work, the question of what exactly to play arises.
When it comes to immersive tasks, it’s best to listen to music you are familiar with. This is because new music might be surprising since you don’t know what to expect and would be thus inclined to listen more closely. Familiar music, however doesn’t demand close listening – you already know what comes next. New music may be to your benefit in other ways, but if you want to get things done, familiar music is a better choice.