How listening to music at work makes you productive

By Sonal Mishra|1st Dec 2016
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The guy who sits next to you is yelling away on the phone. Someone in the other end of the room is loudly cursing about how nothing works in this office. That pair of headphones coyly peeking out of your bag suddenly looks like it’s calling out to you. Music time.

Listening to music has become an optimal way to deal with the daily grind. The question is if melodious tunes help you become productive? A new study from Cornell University showed that employees can benefit from listening to music when at work. It has been found that playing happy and upbeat music can lead employees to be more productive and cooperative at the workplace. While we tap to the tunes of Happy by Pharrell Williams or Nashe Si Chadd Gayi by Arijit Singh, let’s find out how listening to music at work make you more productive.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

It makes repetitive tasks fun

Your playlist will be more effective if your work requires you to follow a set pattern. Of course, studying analytics and copying data in an Excel sheet will require different gravities of attention. Since the former one requires more attention, it may be a good idea to take a break in between your tasks to tap into some great tunes. However, if the task is defined and repetitive in nature, the consistency of music will only boost the rhythm. Research suggests that listening to music blocks out the distracting input that could overwhelm you. The improved mood resulting from listening to one’s favourite music is the source of enhanced productivity, the study suggests. Songs in a major key show better results.

It provides an escape

Is your workplace very noisy? Do you hear multiple conversations everywhere? This can be really distracting and annoying for professionals who require deep concentration to perform. Moreover, it also increases levels of the stress-hormone, cortisol, which can negatively affect execution. Thus, productivity can go down. In such a situation, music can be your greatest escape. If you know how to manage your work well, plugging in headphones can help you work faster and more productively. This will also release a hormone called dopamine, which is also referred to as the pleasure chemical. Result? Better ideas, accomplished deadlines, and a good impression on the bosses!

Music boosts creativity

If your work demands you to be creative, pampering yourself with some music therapy can take you a long way. Plug in some music that soothes you. Music has proven to help visual artists the most. Every melody, every chord hits a new emotion, and when you tap into the world of limitless music, your brain will start generating new ideas. Thinking out of the box is easier with music calming your senses down. Ambient tracks like beach waves and mountain breeze help creative juices flow. Give it a try.

Familiarity is crucial

It’s important that you listen to music that you are already familiar with for this method to work. Listening to new songs when performing tasks is counterproductive because your brain then starts concentrating on the lyrics rather than on the work. This can negatively impact your productivity. In fact, for non-immersive tasks, lyrics can be destructive to your focus. Make your playlists out of songs you already know, and it’s better to use instrumentals.

When listening to familiar music, your brain wouldn’t make an extra effort to know this music. Hence you will be able to focus completely on your work. New songs can help get you alert, but if your purpose is to find your ultimate productivity zone and get things done, walk the familiar road.

Where to find music to listen to at work

Now, we understand that websites like YouTube might be blocked at workplace, so you could try alternate options. For example, SoundCloud, freely licensed files on Wikipedia, Spotify, Happy Track, Pandora, OverClocked Remix, and VGMusic.

So when you’re under stress, now you know what to do!

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