Professional Development

Benefits of Listening to Music at Work

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By: Thelma Collado
Nov 20, 2020 • 6 min read

Benefits of Listening to Music at Work

Music has been a universal language, with various genres and styles that can appeal to any person, no matter the age, gender, race, or religion. When you aren’t actively listening to it, you might find yourself singing under your breath, whistling, or even humming as you go about your day. Music not only serves as a pleasant pastime, but it can enrich your work in new and exciting ways.

listening to music

 Improves Mood

Music can alter our brain. Specifically, it affects our dopamine levels—our “feel-good” neurotransmitter, associated with feeling pleasure and satisfaction. Our levels of dopamine rise when listening to music we enjoy, which in turn uplifts our mood. It causes us to be happier, reduces our anxiety, and effectively relaxes us.

Listening along to your favorite song while you can boost your mood needs to make your workplace a more fun and comfortable environment! When your mood improves, it can also help your mental and physical health, giving you the incentive to work harder. Our attitude serves as an important factor in our work’s quality and quantity, and music aids us in that department.

Improves Focus

The same release of dopamine that causes joy when listening to your favorite song also impacts our focus, specifically when doing lengthy and repetitive tasks. It allows us to stay engaged and reinforces the behavior; rather than growing bored, music’s stimulus keeps us on track and even energizes us. It offers a healthy change of pace that can keep you from drifting from your task.

Of course, it is important to choose the right kind of music for your job. If you want to stay focused, it’s best to stay away from songs with lyrics, such as radio pop songs that are designed to be “catchy,” as it can decrease your performance. The best music for a workplace should be stimulating but not overwhelming, and it shouldn’t compete with your work for your attention.

listening to music

 Reduces Stress

Music, especially the slow-paced and soft kind, helps soothe and relax the mind. It can lower blood pressure and slow your pulse. Stress and anxiety can emerge from fast-paced and overwhelming environments or having to resolve a difficult situation. Situations such as these can occur in our own workplace, and while we may try to shoulder those stressors, they still afflict our body and mind.

Music allows us to disconnect from stressful situations, effectively blocking them out and shifting our attention from the problem to the melody playing through your earphones or speakers. It gives us a moment of peace or of reflection. The mental break provided by music can allow someone to return to the situation with a refreshed perspective or reflect on their own emotions and what causes them to become stressed.

Many different kinds of music genres can alleviate your levels of stress, ranging from:

  •     Jazz
  •     Classical
  •     Country
  •     Soft Rock
  •     Ambient Music
  •     R&B
  •     Blues

Music is a unique experience for each individual, so whatever brings you peace of mind lies solely on your personal preference. Whether you need to create an atmospheric setting or simply “soothe your soul,” there are multitudes of songs and genres for you to check out.

listening to music

Improves Memory

A prime example of memorization through music would be nursery rhymes. Classic rhymes such as “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” have been ingrained in our minds since childhood. Of course, lyrical rhymes and its simplistic language help remember the songs, but it is not limited to that alone. Classical music has played a large role in many experiments and in figuring out how music stimulates the brain; it was proven that music stimulates the hippocampus, which has a role in our memorization and learning.

Studies at Harvard have shown that music helps retrieve memories and create new ones. Through repetition and exposure to a specific pattern while listening to music, it can help create a connection between the work you’re doing and the song. Whenever the song comes up during the activity, it reinforces the memory and helps you learn things at an easier and more rapid rate.

Increases Motivation

It’s fun to listen along to music, and it can even be energizing. It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t find at least one genre or song appealing to them. When music is brought into the workplace, it can create an almost immediate change in the employees and employers alike. When a positive connection is made between music and work, it can create a more exciting and enjoyable environment.

Employees will look forward to going to work, and it will show in the work they produce. They’ll have more incentive to do the best they possibly can and be motivated to try harder.

listening to music

Fuels Your Creativity

Music naturally brings inspiration, especially in an environment that encourages you to think outside the box. It can lead to breakthroughs, and it can be the needed change of pace that allows you to see things through different lenses. It plays an important role in engaging the brain, and it can bring about new and potential ideas into the work environment.

When listening to music during work, it is important to make sure that you’re allowed to and won’t intervene with your work or disturb anyone. Once you’ve received the OK, make sure you have the right music in mind for your workspace and for the amount of time spent there. You could create a playlist that caters to your tastes or find pre-made playlists online! YouTube, Spotify, or Soundcloud—there are many options for you to find the right kind of music.

Make sure that it’s playing at an acceptable volume; you should be able to hear if you’re being called, and it shouldn’t bother your other coworkers. As long as it doesn’t distract you from the tasks at hand, feel free to give it a listen while you work!

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