Smarter with music

2015-10-15

Music while you work? Now there's a question! Some people like to blast out hip hop while they work, while others are disturbed by a pin dropping on the other side of the room. An argument waiting to happen!

But the fact is that researchers generally agree that, in certain circumstances, music can be good for creativity in the workplace. In the 1980s, a well-known experiment showed that people's ability to concentrate improved when they listened to Mozart. The results were subsequently revised somewhat: the most important thing is that you like the music you're listening to, as this has positive effects. And, ideally, if the music has a tempo of 60 BPM (beats per minute).

A few years ago, another interesting study was carried out on surgeons by the Journal of the American Medical Association. This showed that the surgeons' ability to concentrate improved if they were allowed to listen to music that they themselves had chosen. And here is the crux of the argument: music can work if it fulfils a purpose. If, on the other hand, it's just there in the background, it will disturb people and will be perceived as noise.

So, before you turn the volume up, ask your colleagues what sort of music they like. Or invest in a pair of headphones!

5 classic work hits!

  1. Huey Lewis & the news - Workin’ for a Livin’

  2. Dolly Parton - Workin’ 9 to 5

  3. Donna Summer - She Works Hard for the Money

  4. The Bangles: Manic Monday

  5. Bachman Turner Overdrive - Taking Care of Business