Are you used to seeing headphones as you glance around your office? What workplace isn’t full of people with earbuds on these days? Listening to music in our daily lives has become a staple of modern society, well beyond the workplace. But what is the right way to listen to music at work? Your office isn’t a coffeehouse or your living room, it’s a place of business. Music needs to be handled in a different way in this environment.
Should music be allowed in offices at all? There is evidence that music, which is enjoyed by the listener, can improve productivity. A study by MusicWorks showed that 77% of the small and medium business owners surveyed reported that music increases staff morale. Wearing headphones to listen to music can allow employees to tune out distractions and focus on the tasks in front of them. Having music on is something many workers feel is necessary for them to concentrate properly. Assuming your workplace does allow employees to listen to music, here are our top 6 tips to help you get your groove on without putting your career at risk.
1. Headphones, Headphones, Headphones
Playing music from your speakers is not the way to go. While you might appreciate your music, it could distract others, so it’s important be respectful by using headphones or earbuds. And choose your preferred listening device carefully. Wearing large, noise cancelling headphones may put people off from talking to you. Sure, they are more effective than smaller ear buds, but you don’t want to seem inaccessible to colleagues or clients. There may be certain times that you need these bigger headphones to block out distractions, but make sure you keep a smaller pair ready for the moments where you need to be available to those around you.
2. Be Present and Stay Accessible
As mentioned, headphones can give off the “Do Not Disturb” vibe to coworkers or clients. Even with smaller headphones, make sure you are still making an effort to unplug and connect to your environment periodically. Take a walk around the office to grab some water or check in with a coworker from time to time. When someone walks by, make a point of looking up at them. Play your music on a low volume so that you can still hear those around you when needed. Show your associates that you are still available when needed.
3. Keep Calm While You Listen On
Avoid singing, playing your music at high volumes, and dancing around. If your music is helping you, that’s great! But make sure you keep others in the office in mind and don’t hamper the positive culture. Others can get distracted by your loud music or music related movements and that will lead to a less productive environment for all.
4. Find What Speaks [Or Sings] to You
Choose your music with intention. Think about music that does not fully engage or distract you, but instead helps you be the most productive and happy. If there’s a genre that relaxes you and allows you to get more done, listen to that. Make a work playlist or find a radio station that provides music that keeps you on task. Avoid music that is distracting, which may include music with too many instruments, a lot of lyrics, or that is generally loud. Curate a music selection that works for you and your work.
Instrumental music is thought by many professionals to be the ideal type of music to concentrate, instead of music with lyrics.
5. Give Instrumental a Try
Instrumental music is thought by many professionals to be the ideal type of music to concentrate, instead of music with lyrics. Consider adding some instrumental tracks to your work playlist or find a radio station that interests you. There are many instrumental playlists out there with movie, tv show, or video games scores if you need a suggestion of where to start. Hearing music that is wordless can help you find that sweet spot where the music is helpful and not distracting.
6. Get a Pick-Me-Up
Listening to music you know well and enjoy can give you a rush of dopamine. That will give you the energy you need when you feel drained or if your performance is flagging. Use music as a tool for your success by taking advantage of it’s positive effect when you need it. Save your favorite and most positive songs for the right moment to get the most from your music listening experience.
When used correctly, music can be a tool for success in a workplace. The right way to listen to music at work is mainly by being considerate, choosing the right music, and disengaging from your music periodically to interact with others. Workers need to find that balance between what helps them and isolates them from others, while making sure not to be distracting. By being conscious when choosing music and listening to it, employees in modern offices can get the most out of their music and keep their career on track.