The Effects Music Can Have On Your Work

By: Nick Brenner

Rah rah ah-ah-ah! Roma Roma-ma. Are these random sounds to you? Well, they’re the beginning of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and the start of a new workday to me.

Once I settle in to work with my cold brew and yogurt, I plug my headphones in, put my favorite Spotify playlist on, and start my day. This is the best routine for me to be the most productive in the mornings. Listening to my favorite songs in the mornings get me over the morning lull quickly, and allows me to get excited for the rest of the day.

There is much debate around music and productivity at work, and when the right and wrong times are to listen. Many studies have been done showing the appropriate times for this. When trying to learn something new, it is best to have your brain focus on that task without music in the background. However, if your office is noisy or the task at hand is repetitive, music can put you in a good mood or help take away the distraction that abrupt noise will have on you.

The type of music you listen to may affect the way your brain works as well. A study by Simone Ritter, at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and Sam Ferguson, at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, showed that uplifting music could help with creativity while turning the music off should be done when when needing to solve a problem.

While all of this information is great, only you know when you work your best. Personally, I have various times throughout the day when I need to listen to my favorite songs, new songs I don’t know, television shows or a podcast as my background noise, or just work in silence. I know very well that I need to listen to my favorite pop music in the morning that will get me ready to tackle the day or in the afternoon once I’ve hit my slump to get me back in order. If I have a task that is more tedious that requires a lot of focus, I may opt for a television show that I have already watched or silence to not split my attention at all.

Finding the right amount of noise and the best kind of noise that will help you be most product can be incredibly beneficial. Knowing the working environment around you, the company culture, and your own working style will ne necessary to find the right fit for you. Music can help your mood at work and boost your overall happiness, but make sure to use it at the right times.

Nick is an Associate at 113 Industries, specializing in Consumer Insights and Strategy. He is also an expert millennial, watcher of sports, and Lady Gaga fanatic