Mute the Elevator Music. Play Better Music for the Office for a Thriving Workspace

Mute the Elevator Music. Play Better Music for the Office for a Thriving Workspace

Since the industrial revolution, the impact of music on work productivity has been intensively researched — and, at times, criticised. From increasing people’s moods to helping them relieve boredom in monotonous tasks, there is a wealth of evidence in favor of playing music for the office.

Nowadays, music plays a big part in the office space, in what is called workplace ergonomics. In this article, we explore the psychological impact of playing music in office environments, as well as some tips and tricks in choosing the best office music for your team.

So, if you want to foster a healthy and productive work environment with minimal effort on your part, then playing background music for the office might be just the solution you are looking for.

Benefits of Playing Music in Office Settings

There are many reasons to invest in a commercial music service to ensure a continuous stream of uplifting and motivating music for your team. Let’s look at some of the most significant ones.

Productivity Improvement

Many studies that analysed work performance in different industries have shown that good office music can boost productivity. It increases concentration for challenging activities and it makes tedious tasks more enjoyable, allowing time to pass quicker.

Stress Relief and Employee Retention

Did you know that in Australia and New Zealand, 37 per cent of employees think about quitting their jobs every week due to stress and burnout?

Nowadays, more and more employees gravitate toward a better work-life balance, and some even leave their jobs when they are dissatisfied with the provided working conditions. To avoid losing workdays due to stress-related illnesses or even losing their personnel altogether, many companies are striving to improve their environment.

Keeping in mind that we shouldn’t view music as a panacea, it can be an effective tool for reducing stress. Many studies on the psychological impact of music have shown that due to music's mood regulation capacity, listening to it at work can help reduce levels of perceived stress.

Creativity Booster

Incorporating ‘fun’ aspects like good office music, ping pong tables, and coffee bars boosts employee creativity — according to studies on major tech companies like Microsoft and Google. More businesses, particularly in the tech sector, are embracing the ‘funky office’ design trend to create joyful, engaging, and productive work environments.

Collaborative Workplace

Many workers listen to music through headphones in open-plan offices. On the one hand, this offers them the above-discussed therapeutic advantages and greater productivity. On the other hand, it can convey a 'do not disturb' message to their coworkers or clients, which might make communication more challenging.

Employees can prevent that kind of 'isolation' and encourage collaboration by playing music on a speaker.

To Play or Not to Play?

One might think that music for the office serves more as a distraction than motivation. Various studies demonstrate a decline in employees' performance levels related to working memory tasks. What appears to improve effectiveness for some can diminish it for others.

Despite the conflicting facts, there are steps employers can take to maximize the positive effects of music and ‘silence’ the negative.

Tempo, Volume, and Lyrics Matter

First, it’s safe to say that loud (above 60 dB) and uptempo music (over 140 BPM) can make you feel agitated or stressed, so it’s best to leave The Prodigy for the gym.

Second, paying attention to song lyrics can occasionally be distracting. You might find yourself singing along with your favourite artist rather than concentrating on the task at hand. It may not necessarily be as distracting as it seems, though, because the more you listen to it, the more it fades into your subconscious.

Consider the Time of Day

According to a study conducted at a Volvo factory in Sweden, employees preferred various forms of music at different times to benefit from different kinds of stimulation — such as to relax in between tasks or focus on tiresome ones.

The way you can apply this nugget of information to your company would be, for example, to play some easy listening office music (like indie or pop) at the beginning of the day to boost people’s moods. Later on, after lunch, you can go for classical or instrumental music, to help them focus when their energy levels and motivation are generally lower. Try this out in your day-to-day schedule and see how you feel!

What Music Do Your Employees Like?

When music is imposed on us, it typically becomes distracting and irritating because we perceive it as an invasion of our personal space. Because of this, it's necessary to have a general idea of your staff's likes and dislikes.

Sending out a survey to ask people to rate particular musical genres or musicians will help you get a sense of their preferences. Let them know what the poll is for and how helpful their answers are to you.

The results can be a good start for creating a few playlists that you can later adjust according to your team’s feedback.

If there are employees who can only focus in silence — as much as a dynamic environment allows — then you can reserve the music for certain areas of the office.

Best Office Music for Your Company

As you can probably tell from the article title, we’re not big fans of the so-called ‘elevator music’. It’s the type of bland, repetitive instrumental tune that we usually hear when we call customer service. While it may seem neutral and calming at first, the monotony of this kind of music can become irksome at a certain point.

Besides, there is so much better music for the office out there, so why not try these options instead?

  1. Classical Music

    Classical music in office settings, particularly Baroque (Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel, for example) is said to improve learning efficiency and elevate your mood simultaneously.

    The best part is you don’t have to be a classical music connoisseur to enjoy it or benefit from it on a subconscious level.

  2. Pop and Indie Happy Office Music

    Easy listening office music like indie, pop, and trending tunes is a surefire way to appeal to a variety of musical preferences among your employees.

    Play happy office music during lunch or brainstorming sessions to improve people’s moods, boost creativity, and encourage communication.

  3. Instrumental Music

    Jazz and piano instrumentals are excellent choices for any business setting. Anything from bossa nova to Debussy to movie soundtracks can help people focus and feel good at work.

    These are just some of the most popular and effective options; we encourage you to explore other genres.

    In the end, it's up to you and your team to come up with the perfect blend of songs that tick all the boxes.

Find the Best Office Music Playlists at Storeplay Radio

Regardless of the type of music you prefer for your working environment, Storeplay Radio has a large selection to choose from: easy listening office music, jazz, alternative, instrumental — you name it! We update our repertoires regularly and handle all the licencing procedures so you don't have to worry about the legal aspects of performing music in public.

Additionally, our team has vast experience in music and technology. We are here to support you with the implementation, as well as the know-how of what works best to increase staff productivity and satisfaction.

Get a glimpse of the selected music for the office environment on our website and let us create the soundscape that will take your workspace to new heights!