The modern workplace is an ever-evolving landscape which is increasingly adapting to the needs and desires of the employees rather than the company itself. Somewhere in that spectrum, there is a sweet spot where employee happiness and company success meet. It is already said that a happy workforce makes for better results for the company overall, though having your employees too happy might mean a lack of productivity. One o the fields in which improvements are being made is in the field of ‘work environs’. This means any of the external paraphernalia involved in being in an office working: from the design of the snack room to the Feng Shui.
An asset that has come to light increasingly as technology has gotten more and more efficient is music, and the role it plays in productivity and success. It Is generally acknowledged that certain music is both very good for productivity and improves the overall mood of employees as they work. The question then becomes, which music? At this interval, it’s important to note that this is a personal question, that could have an array of different answers not included in this article. But, getting straight to it, here is a list of seven of the types of music which have been seen to be effective in the work environment.
- Classical Music
It’s quite ironic that in each of the classical periods from which these songs are drawn, listening to them would have been a bit like listening to the pop music of today. The composers had rivalries and the subtleties and variations of each piece would be enough to excite crowds of thousands. Classical music is still exciting to many and there’s undeniable beauty in a lot of it. In the workplace, it fosters an atmosphere of professionalism and can energize or relax depending from which end of the wide-spectrum you draw from. It also tends to be instrumental, a benefit we will discuss later. The ‘Mozart effect’, where listening to Mozart may actually make you smarter, is debated but there’s no harm in throwing some on and hoping for the best.
Neo-Classical music is the modern wave of classical music composers whose work is often reserved, minimalist but somehow sublime. It’s minimalism often hinges on repetition of certain motifs over and over, which can be relaxing. “Neoclassical music is a good choice because it also tends to focus on only a handful of different instruments in each song which can stop any sense of chaos in the music”, advises Sadio Envalez, team leader at Australia2Write and WriteMyx. Composers like Max Richter, Johann Johannsson and Ludovico Einaudi are great places to start. The music is rhythmic and has a driving force but in an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way. It will be sure to rid you of stress and have your productivity levels up.
- Ambient Music
Ambient music is like a tasteful, unassuming version of white noise. It’s not nothing but it’s hard to describe exactly what it is. It’s an extremely relaxing soundscape that fills the space in a room or in your head but doesn’t encroach on whatever it is that you are thinking about on work. It can serve as a good buffer between you and any distracting thoughts that your mind might turn to if you aren’t careful. Just watch out that it doesn’t send you to sleep! Rainycafe.com provides great ambient music on a basic level, so if you want to put yourself in a café atmosphere or rainy day noise, you can check it.
- Music With Nature/Environment Sounds
There has, in recent years, been a very popular wave of music, or sound design really, which combines music and setting. Many of the most popular ‘songs’ from this genre of music involve combining ambient music with sounds of nature. These might include, but are not limited to sounds of rain, the ocean, the breeze, snow, birdsong, creaks, crickets, and cicadas etc. But there have been developments on this concept. “The general idea”, writes Lauren Farthing, productivity blogger at NextCoursework and BritStudent, “is that by combining music that you could listen to anywhere with sounds which denote a certain space, you can partially trick the brain into thinking it is in these places.” Taking that principle forward sound designers have developed soundscapes for anything from a campsite in the wild west to a cozy private library during a snowstorm in the 1600s. Employees can concentrate as normal but envelop in the blanket of their new reality.
- Music Without Words
This is an important one, and one I referenced earlier. Music with words, which makes up a large proportion of the music out there, can be very distracting consciously and subconsciously. And the more words there are the worse it is, so hip-hop is off the table. Music without words, which naturally includes ambience, is there to pad out space in the brain, giving a nice cushion for the brains activity to rest on. The words in lyrics can infiltrate and distract so be careful.
- Soundtrack Music
As backing for films, soundtrack music can be perfect to study to. It is usually crafted specifically to avoid there being a distraction from the central focus: the film itself. So, remove the film and replace it with your task at work and, voila: you’ve found some great working music. Plus, there’s a whole load to work from and some of it is epic which can inspire you as you work.
- Video game Soundtrack Music
To continue on from 6, videogame music has all of the brilliant advantages as film music along with its own added advantages. Videogames require concentration, effort, and mental dexterity, the sorts of which you would, ideally, be putting into your work. So, the music is usually effective for focusing you up on the task at hand.
When you really stop to look at the landscape of music available to you, you come to realize that there is a whole load of great options. It may take you some time to see what works for you and/or your employees but once you find it, work will never be the same.
Emily Williams is passionate about her work as a marketing specialist and writer at Academic Brits. She loves getting engaged with the readers who are seeking marketing related advice, startups, brand development, and personal growth at PhD Kingdom and Origin Writings. With more than five years of experience, she enjoys supporting smart people to achieve success online.