‘I can’t work with music on at all,’ says Sarah.
‘It drives me crazy as I end up singing along or listening to the lyrics. Very distracting! I love having music on when I’m doing the housework though, or any other work that doesn’t involve reading or writing.’
‘I prefer total silence,’ agrees Naomi, ‘music can be so distracting when trying to concentrate. I end up dancing instead.’
Claire says music is the perfect excuse to do anything other than work.
‘I am the world’s worst procrastinator at the best of times,’ she explains.
‘When I have a deadline or a really important piece of work to focus on, I need complete silence or I will somehow use the music to avoid my work.
‘I end up singing along and then forget what I was reading or writing. Quite often I will then get my phone out and google the lyrics or something about the artist I’m listening too.
‘Ultimately, I cannot take in information or think straight when there is noise in the background. For everyday stuff, I love having music on in the background, but anything that really requires thinking and concentration I need silence.’
So maybe it depends on the type of work you’re doing, or the type of music.
According to the research, 38% of people prefer to listen to pop music at work, but classical music is a close second favourite. Given that most classical is instrumental and lacking in distracting lyrics, this isn’t surprising.
‘I prefer having instrumental music on. Something to match the mood of what I‘m writing,’ says Sammy.
‘When I am writing I go for either non-lyric music or other-language music,’ explains Cat.
‘I can only have classical music on,’ agrees Jessica.
So what happens when half of the office needs music to work productively and the other half need silence? The experts say that listening to music in your headphones can have the same effect as having it blasting out of communal speakers.
Which means the entire office doesn’t have to listen to your Disney soundtrack megamix. Their loss.
‘It’s clear from our research that people want to listen to music whilst at work and it has an incredibly positive impact on their working day,’ explains Cal from Workthere.
‘It is also interesting to note that the office environment can play a big factor in how workers listen to music with those preferring to listen via their earphones perhaps more likely to work in an open-plan environment where they need to zone-out and focus, where-as those in smaller offices are more likely to have communal music played out loud throughout the office.’
So if you’re resistant to office music it might be time to give it another try. You never know, a little bit of grime might help you fly through your to-do list.
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