Readers' Poll: Does Music In The Workplace Make You More Productive?

Categories: Whatever

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A recent blog on the Bloomberg Businessweek site detailed a UK study that was done dealing with music in the workplace and its effect on worker productivity. 77 percent of surveyed businesses said that it boosted morale and made output soar. The rest of the 33 percent probably own sweatshops.

Now I am a bad judge of whether or not music is an asset in the workplace for obvious reasons, but in my former life as a welding-parts office associate, we had no music to speak of and I yearned for it. When I worked at Domino's Pizza years ago I always had a radio or disc spinning in the shop, sometimes for better or worse. For some reason suburban teens in weren't into Arthur Brown and Miles Davis.

Of course I had to ask all you guys what you thought of tunes in the salt mines of corporate America. I was surprised and elated to find that many offices and other places that pay you money to be there allow music. Now if they could only make reading Rocks Off an hourly duty...

Of course it's all good in the hood when you can pick the music yourself or your coworkers have your same tastes.

"My own music at my desk -- good," says Cortney Martin. "Someone else's music over a speaker system -- annoying and distracting."

Muzak or something atrocious that you don't like, say show tunes or teen pop, can grate on your brain and make even the best job in the world more of a chore than it should be.

If you are in high school or under, it's a slice of freedom in a world away from the safe cocoon of your bedroom.

"My students think it makes things better, but I know it just distracts," says Adrian Sendejas, a local educator.

Kids can get into arguments over who the best member of One Direction or Slipknot is, or get so into singing along that they forget to stay on task. Of course, classical selections probably work best for school-agers. They will want to work harder so they can get away from poor ol' Chopin quicker.

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I love music but have developed a habit of immediately procrastinating the second I put an album on at work.  I think it all depends on the type of job you have.  However, I do know surgeons who will blast stuff like Slayer the second the patient is under anesthesia.  My old company, which was basically a call center, had to ban music because the hardcore rap employees were listening to could be heard across the line.  They finally gave employees music back, but it was over an office loudspeaker and was Top 40 all day long.  I'd go home with songs stuck in my head that I'd never heard before, then hear them 100 more times by the end of the week.

Justine Cherne
Justine Cherne

Mostly classical during normal biz hours to keep me focused and in a calm state. Sometimes some Johnny Cash or the Chieftains to lighten up the mood and quicken the pace. After hours it's Linkin Park, Korn or even Lady Gaga to ramp up my energy and speed through even the most mundane of tasks. Music definitely makes me more focused and more productive at work! My IPod is plugged into a desktop speaker every morning to get me going. I work in a law firm.


Oh man... I actually like dubstep, but that comment was priceless.


Definitely think music in the workplace boosts morale, but really..... Put on another dupstep song and I might throw my computer out of this damn office.

William Philpot
William Philpot

I'm fortunate to have my own office, so I can listen to music/podcasts without hassle. I would go insane without it. When I started this job I left my ipod at home the first two days. On day three I had it going all day long, and haven't stopped since. Nothing but the hum of the lights would dry me nutty. The real trick to productivity and speeding the day along lies in podcasts though. 

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