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Is Listening to Music at Work Productive?


Short answer: yes. 


Listening to music has often been thought of as a distraction. That may be in large part due to the dancing that it encompasses. Regardless, people listen to music almost anywhere they are. They listen to it while they’re studying, taking a walk, driving or even sitting at their desk at work. Whether it be out loud or through headphones, more and more employees are listening to music at work and it doesn’t seem to be impeding productivity.  


According to a study by WebFX on the effects of listening to music at work, dance music improved proofreading speed by 20 per cent and ambient music improved data entry accuracy by a whopping 92 per cent. The idea that music lowers productivity simply isn’t true. More people are listening to music, yet the same amount of work is getting done. 


Benefits of music


Music has been shown to be extremely beneficial to the body. Not only does it encourage movement through dance, it can reduce stress and anxiety, increase motivation and act as an overall mood enhancer. It can also improve sleep quality, better than any other tactic. In a study involving 94 students, it was shown that listening to relaxing classical music improved overall sleep quality, and the same results were found in a study involving an older demographic.


By maintaining a healthy body and mind, you will be able to focus better, resulting in a more productive day. 


Type of music matters


Now that the benefits of music have been established, it's time to define what kind of music is the best to induce productivity. Although music does help our minds and bodies and increase productivity, the wrong kind of music can do the opposite. 


Music with lots of lyrics can often be distracting, causing us to lose focus on the words we're typing to pay more attention to the words we're hearing. It’s also best not to listen to new music while working on something that requires a large amount of focus. It’s almost impossible not to listen to a new song. That’s why, when it comes to choosing what music is best to listen to, try something familiar and without a lot of lyrics. 


Best places to find music


There are many places that offer music, online and offline, but not all of them are designed to provide music that will help you concentrate. Two really great resources are Spotify and YouTube. 


Spotify offers a wide range of playlists without lyrics that are designed to be calming. If you have a mood, Spotify has a playlist for it. Browse through their mood section and get a feel for what works for you. 


YouTube’s options are almost unlimited. With so many playlists and live streams available, it might be hard to choose. One popular genre that is designed for concentration is lofi-hiphop, also known as “chill beats.” Many of these are live streamed and offer continuous soft beats that change throughout the day. 


Try either of these options and you will boost your mood and be more productive. So, turn up that radio and enjoy your work day!

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Brian Rodnick
January 14, 2020
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Lisa Durocher
September 14, 2018
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