Can Music Help You Work Better?

Music is one of the few important factors that can impact our mood instantly. Music is also known to help people deal with emotional states of anxiety, depression and stress, and we often resort to listening to music when we feel low. All this is to say that our mind responds to music positively.

However, music not just influences our mind and mood, but it also affects our brain. The science of studying the effects of music on our nervous system is called Neuromusicology. And what it essentially says is that, after music enters our body through our ears, it engages with different areas in our brain, some of which are used for cognitive functions. To what extent or how our mind and brain respond to music, varies from person to person, depending on the kind of music they listen to and their individual tastes in music.


Should you listen to music at work?

First and foremost, it is important to respect the culture at the workplace and you should listen to music while at work only if your company allows it and you are sure it would not disturb anyone else.

Noises from the background can easily be the highest contributors to create disturbances and distractions at workplaces. Especially, in open offices. Listening to music on headphones or earphones, not only helps us eliminate this noise, but gives us the freedom to replace noise with the music of your choice.

It has been proved by various studies and researches that music affects our productivity at work. Did you know that even surgeons—whose work demands high level of concentration, whose work is literally a matter of life and death—prefer to perform surgeries with music played in the background? In fact, it has also been concluded that surgeons tend to perform better when they listen to music they’ve picked themselves during surgeries.

We have enough evidence to conclude that listening to music improves one’s efficiency, creativity and happiness, especially in terms of work-related tasks. And, now with many companies adopting a music-friendly approach to work, it’s only fair that we take advantage of this powerful and beautiful tool at our disposal. Not only to uplift our moods, but to also increase our productivity at work.


What kind of music should you listen to while at work?

Studies have shown that music with lyrics has a tendency to distract us. Therefore, work that involves focus and concentration is best performed when listening to lyric-free music or instrumental music. Likewise, the tasks that do not require much mental concentration such as writing emails, preparing reports, or any repetitive, monotonous tasks, can be teamed with lyrical music. This not only increases your productivity and efficiency, but also takes your mind away from the monotone or boring nature of such tasks.


Some Bonus Tips

  • It’s not recommended to listen to any kind of music when you’re trying to learn something new, as music interferes with your learning and retention ability.
  • If your goal is to increase concentration, do not listen to any new music. Stick to music that you’re familiar with.
  • Creative work is best combined with mellow music, with no dramatic shifts in the loudness of the sound.
  • While you should listen to music you like, it’s also advisable to experiment with music recommended by researchers, to see what works for you the best.


Additional Reads:


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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