Art and Productivity: Does music interfere with work?

27th Apr 2020
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There is a perception that productive work is facilitated by focusing on one activity. It is difficult to disagree with this: it is difficult to simultaneously talk and prepare the text of the presentation. But what about music: is it distracting or, conversely, helps to work?

What to do if the company keeps records of working hours and music can reduce productivity?


Are work and music compatible?

Any audiophiles will say yes. Music is always with him - at home, at work, in the car, for a walk. Opposing this approach will say, if at work to perform direct work duties, and time to listen to the music will not. The most difficult thing is if the office is prohibited headphones, but you can turn on the background music for all, here and face the interests (and in the musical preferences, and in the strength of sound, in the choice of repertoire, etc.) This situation will immediately affect the productivity of staff and affect the system of working time.


Scientific view

Let us turn to the results of research in this field. Perhaps they will shed some light on the question: what effect does music have on productivity, which is automatically monitored by the timekeeping system?

  • Two years ago, British researchers found that about 90% of surgeons' doctors listen to music during surgery. This helps them cope with stress and create a peaceful atmosphere. The survey showed that they most often prefer classical, rock and pop music.
  • Another interesting data came from the Canadian University of Windsor. Local scientists were investigating the impact of music on the work of developers and web designers. It turned out that background music significantly reduced the time needed for IT specialists to solve the problem. They worked more productively with the music, coped more quickly with the tasks and showed more interest in them.
  • Repeated studies have shown that music has an impact on workers in industry. The result is positive. And here workers "with music" were much more productive and less tired. Besides, music helped to cope with the factory noise from equipment.

If these studies were to record working time using an automated program, the data would most likely show a significant increase in productive time.


About the benefits of music at work:

"Shield" from noisy colleagues.

Very often employees interfere with each other by talking to each other on the phone and other "household" noises. This is distracting and is reflected in the data of the time management system. It is not uncommon for "sociable" PR and system workers (for example, IT specialists) to find themselves in one office. The latter can be very difficult to work with, and music in headphones will solve this problem.

A little joy in the routine.

There are boring and routine work tasks that employees do not enjoy. During these periods, productivity is reduced, concentration is lost, which is easy to notice if you keep records of working hours, and such tasks require it. In terms of physiology, during boring work in the body there is a lack of the hormone of pleasure - dopamine. "Get" it can be in many ways: eat chocolate, go for a walk, watch your favorite movie, meet friends, but all these solutions are not for work. But music, which is also responsible for the production of dopamine, will help and disrupt work discipline.


Medication for drowsiness

Monotonous work causes boredom and provokes sleepiness. Dynamic music will keep you energetic, increase efficiency and ward off sleep. An employee can do the job more easily if stimulated by his favorite melody. This, of course, will have an impact on productivity and the time tracking system.


Help with creative work

All creative professionals (journalists, illustrators, make-up artists, designers, etc.) prefer to work where unobtrusive background music sounds. This helps the creative process, inspires and gives new ideas. Such working conditions have a positive impact on their productivity.


Basic recommendations when working with music:

- music should be liked and help with work tasks, not become an end in itself,

- classical music is considered the best for the job,

- specialists recommend listening to compositions "without words" so that a person does not lose concentration by listening to speech,

- To exclude music you need to memorize a lot of information and work on a new task that requires a full immersion,

- the music the employee listens to while working should not interfere with his colleagues.

The arguments above speak in favour of music being used in the workflow. When properly applied, it helps employees focus, respond less to outside noise, perform tasks better and faster, be less tired and generally happier. The manager will get more productive personnel, increase productivity, which will be proved by objective data of the timekeeping program.

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