Let music be the food of concentration

by L&D14 Dec 2016
A new report revealed that listening to music in the workplace can improve focus and concentration rather than serve as a distraction from work.

Commissioned by totaljobs and music streaming service Deezer, the report conducted by music psychologist Dr Anneli Haake showed that 79% out of more than 4,500 employees who took part in the online survey would benefit from listening to music at work. More than a third chose pop music as their preferred genre, while only seven per cent opted for classical music.

“Enjoyed as a private activity, music in offices can be seen by employees as a perk; a positive route to personal happiness and well-being,” wrote Dr Haake.

“What’s more, it’s a clever way to help manage work environments and minimise interruptions; a cost-effective way to combat stress, and a positive technique for encouraging employee self-care.”

Despite these findings, listening to music is still prohibited in a lot of offices, as more than a third of the surveyed workers revealed that they are now allowed to listen to music at work. Most of these employees come from the accounting, banking, insurance and customer service industries. Meanwhile, those in the computer programming, data analytics, advertising, and marketing sectors are more music-friendly.

Still, some people prefer not to listen to music while working. Dr Haake said, “If music is forced upon people, it can be irritating and annoying, and we know from research that office noise can have severe negative effects on employee health, well-being, and productivity.”