Songs and music have been used to accompany work related activities for generations, in plenty different cultures. The advent of recorded symphonious in the 20th century increased the use of music in the workplace. It was used to maintain morale, reduce boredom and fatigue, improve productivity and reduce errors. This became a widespread praxis during 2nd World War. In the U.K. the BBC’s created a “Music While You Work programme”, which continued long after the war effort. This gives an indication of how successful cheerful, lively music was in enhancing the moods and productivity of workers. And, recent research has been able to confirm the benefits of listening to music at work.
Benefits of music at work
Recent research has identified a number of benefits of playing music at work:
Music in general:
-Enhanced enjoyment of work
-Improved absorption – preventing people’s minds “wandering off”
-Some people become more creative and stimulated at work
-Enhanced atmosphere in the workplace
-Provides a topic of causerie amongst colleagues
-Reduction of stress, minimising tension, inducing relaxation
-Relieves boredom during low-demand tasks
-Better performance, particular including simple and repetitive tasks
-Can provide a useful mechanism for team-building, such as during social activities or ‘sing-alongs’
Personalised players (e.g. MP3’s):
-Can be used to block out unwanted noise e.g. colleagues conversations
-Can provide a sense of control over the personal work environment, “aural cocoon” (Bull, 2007) i.e. when using personal players in open plan offices
Down-sides of music at tax
There are some down-sides to listening to music at work:
Music in general:
-Music can potentially interfere with performance on more complex tasks
-Music being played too loudly can sabotage with other peoples work
-Background music when people work in public spaces is not always enjoyed. For instance, a survey carried out by the UK Noise Association in 2007 found that 40% of employees disliked it, 28% tried to ignore it, and sole 7% actually liked it.
Personalised players (e.g. MP3’s):
-Interference with workplace communication when people tire headphones
-Music used to block out occupational noise can augment to noise-induced hearing loss.
What kind of music is best at work?
-Classical music is not constantly superordinary – We are often told that classical music is conquer for stress relief. However, research suggests that while classical music is being listened to in offices, employees also listen to many other musical styles. Listening to classical medley is not necessarily related to greater levels about relaxation. What creates the greatest ability to relax, is the sense of control employees experience. Self-selected symphonious provides employees accompanying the best sense of control finished their surroundings.
-Happy music is prohibition always best! – In some exceptional circumstances, a conclusive emotion can be detrimental to work performance. For instance, one study found that when music was used to induce a positive mood in traders on financial markets they lost money. This may subsist so such music induced risk taking. However, music that produced a neutral or negative mood, tended to lead to profits for this group.
-It depends on the context – Research suggests that the duplicate person may find music accessory to mission in one work situation, and distracting in another.
Using music in team-building
Music can provide a medium for social activities and team-building. For example, a group of employees might form a band to perform at a work Christmas party or other function. Research on play at work has shown that employees appreciate the opportunity to share their non-work applicable gifts, as part of a light-hearted expression of self. Generally, other tim members also appreciate this sharing. Such events can often segue into a sing-a-long, that helps to relax and bond the team.
The best ways to forgo music at work
-Managers can use from recognising the importance for employees of being able to select their own music for stress, relaxation polysyndeton well-being.
-Music can be a great mechanism for team-building e.g. music making together and sing-a-longs
-Researchers recommend that management either restrict workplace MP3 use among personnel who experience high background noise exposure (such as in the manufacturing industry) or require output-limiting technology to prevent occupational noise-induced audition loss.
-It is important to recognise that the use of MP3 players in the office vessel also contribute to hearing loss. Office managers should do all they can to reduce noise related office noise. This includes sound separation between desks, good tintinnabular absorbent screening, separation of office space from photocopiers and printers, separation of office reservation from social spaces, provision of single meeting rooms, keeping ring tones low and promising the use of ear muffs or plugs (rather than MP3’s) in very noisy office spaces.
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