Most would agree that music is an incredibly powerful form of communication. It even has the ability to shape and reflect the larger culture. (Think Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” for example.) But did you know that music can also shape the culture of your office or workspace?
Merriam Saunders, a psychotherapist, explains that music actually increases the release of dopamine in certain parts of the brain which can make you a more productive and attentive employee. So, don’t limit those jam sessions to your car as you pull into the office anymore. Make music work for you!
Here are a few genres to consider depending on the tasks you need to complete.
Need to focus? Stick to instrumental music.
Sometimes, you need to literally tune out the world around you so that you can give one task your undivided attention. Maybe you have to write a report by the end of the day or finalize the annual budget for your division. For those kinds of situations, instrumental music will be your best friend. While lyrics certainly have their place in the world of music, they tend to pull us into the song which can make focusing on the task at hand more difficult. Of course, classical music is full of excellent instrumental music options, but if you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, Spotify’s Deep Focus playlist is a great option.
Repeating the same task over and over? Get things moving with upbeat music.
In many cases, office work involves monotonous or repetitive tasks. Whether you have to mindlessly input data into a spreadsheet or move boxes of copier paper from one side of the room to the other, some upbeat music will help you get the job done. One classic 1994 study found a group of surgeons completed non-surgical lab tasks more quickly and accurately when listening to their music of choice compared to those listening to no music at all. So, don’t let those mundane tasks get you down. Put in some headphones, hit the play button on this Happy Hits playlist, and start knocking out that checklist you have at your desk.
Lacking confidence or energy? Take a trip to the movies with cinematic music.
Your mood directly affects your productivity. Imagine your new boss asks you to create a rundown, but you don’t know what a rundown is. Or maybe you’re just tired of your job and need some motivation to complete your work. A lack of confidence or energy can be detrimental to an office, but cinematic music has the ability to lift your spirits and get the blood pumping. Regardless of the task at hand, an intense film score can make you feel like you’re changing the world one email at a time. If you’re looking for suggestions, Inception’s soundtrack is outstanding even though you may feel like you’re in a dream when listening to it.
Want to destress? Kick back with Naturescape music and sounds.
Stress is an ever-increasing reality in our lives, and the workplace is no exception. Fortunately, music is just as good at taking our focus off of work as it is at increasing our focus. For those Friday nights when you just need to sit back and relax, the sounds of nature make for a good background.
Just make sure the tracks you choose are actually soothing. After all, a quacking duck may be natural and all, but it’ll probably wear on your nerves after about 30 seconds. For something more relaxing, stick to the basics like the sound of rainfall, crashing ocean waves, or light thunderstorms. Spotify’s appropriately titled Nature Sounds playlist has a variety of tracks to choose from if you want to give this de-stressing technique a try.
. . .
What type of music do you tend to play around your office?