THE BLOG

How Does Music Affect Your Productivity?

27/07/2015 10:54 BST | Updated 24/07/2016 10:59 BST

Productivity is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the workplace. With employers pushing for higher levels of productivity, employees are always looking for easy and practical way to maximise their efficiency.

What if there was something you could do as an employee that requires no effort on your part, but is proven to increase your productivity?

What if this is something that you also really enjoyed?

It's transformed my focus at work and I really needed to share it with you!

What I'm referring to is - music.

So, how does music affect your productivity?

Recent studies suggest that it's not the music itself, but instead the improved mood and overall wellbeing created by listening to music that results in the increase in productivity.

Another study, involving IT specialists, found that those who listened to music through headphones completed tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn't - again due to an increase in mood.

If you work in an open plan office, like us, you will have experienced that even though the environment makes employees more relaxed, comfortable and creative, open plan offices can sometimes be damaging to attention span, productivity and satisfaction due to the excessive distractions they bring.

Music may be the solution! Listening to music, through headphones, when working on important, high-focus tasks won't just increases your productivity, it will also gives your colleagues a visual indication that you may not wish to be disturbed.

Even if you don't work in an open plan office, when working on immersive tasks such as writing, lyrics can cause inefficiency - this is because the words activate the language centre of your brain. When I wrote this blog, I was listening to a 'Chill Dubstep' playlist that always gets me in the zone!

Research suggests that mellow instrumental music appears to work best. Keep the 'bass-ey' stuff for when you're hitting the gym.

Music with lyrics can offer a positive effect, however, when working on creative tasks that don't directly deal with language.

When we work on tasks such as designing, we all like a little R&B and Hip Hop here in the office. Unless our Project Management Officer, Alice, is on the decks and we're forced into a 'Best of Disney' singsong!