If you’re like us, music is a big part of your daily life. Whether it is to accompany a particular mood you’re in, set a festive ambiance at your dinner party, or rock your way through traffic, music plays a meaningful role in how we live our lives. But how can you use it to your advantage at work? How can music increase your productivity and boost your performance?
Benefits of music
An increasing number of studies are being conducted on how music affects work performances in a variety of settings and fields. Links are being made between the role music plays on mood, and how this affects productivity in workers. Listening to music at work can increase your concentration levels, narrow your focus, improve your creative problem-solving skills, and reduce your stress levels.
Music elevates your mood and creates a sense of arousal, which has been directly linked to increases in productivity in multiple facets of work. A study looking at undergraduate students has shown that listening to upbeat music before an IQ test provided them with a jump start in their cognitive abilities, leading to better results. Have a big presentation coming up? Or a job interview for a position you crave? We recommend you blast some upbeat music right before to optimize your performance.
Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, at the University of Windsor, also worked on the link between music, performance at work, and creativity, but with developers that worked on computer information systems. She found that the positive mood induced by music narrowed worker’s focus, allowing them to take in more options and improving their ability for creative problem-solving. Not only did the quality of their work improve, but it took them less time to complete tasks. And the more they listened to music, the more of these benefits they experienced!
The music you choose to listen to is essential in getting the results you want. A study that showed how the stress levels of surgeons were significantly reduced when they listened to music while performing surgery underlined the importance of listening to music you liked – not just anything that plays on the radio. Choose music according to your tastes and the tasks that need to get done. Want a boost of energy? Try uptempo music to increase alertness. Have repetitive tasks you have been postponing? Explore new music genres and up-and-coming artists to stay motivated. If you have work that requires deep concentration, choose slower music, with fewer lyrics, or even streamlined music, which has been shown to improve task persistence and creative thinking.
The ability to concentrate plays a significant role in how we perform at work and music can help with this too. Bothered by coworkers that type way too loudly on their keyboards? Working in your crowded neighbourhood cafe? Get rid of the distractions by putting on earphones (psst: try the noise-cancelling ones from our gift-guide for even better results) and start listening to music! A study conducted by Dr. Amit Sood for the Mayo Clinic showed that it only takes 15 to 30 minutes of listening to music to get you back in that focused zone.
So, you needed a reason to add music to your work environment? Now you have the data to back you up! Not only does music improves mood and productivity, but it also allows you to get rid of distractions, stay motivated, and get your tasks done faster.
Today, we share our first playlist for work with you: everyday sweetness. Press play to boost your energy for the day. Psssst. We’ll be launching a new playlist every month to help you get into that focused, extra-productive zone. Stay tuned!