Can Music Improve Productivity?

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Can Music Improve Productivity?

Music can influence our mental capacity, productivity, and work performance. / Photo by: Getty Images


The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that “without music, life would be a mistake.” This most likely holds for many people. Music has played a significant role in many events in our life, may those be happy or sad. 

Aside from triggering memories, music can also influence our mental capacity, productivity, and work performance. Music can communicate things that cannot be expressed in words. Today, work has been mostly in front of a computer, and music has become a method to fight boredom and monotony.

Research on Music Therapy

Teresa Lesiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, studied the effects of listening to music while working. The result of her research showed that those who listened to music were able to finish their tasks faster and had better ideas than those who did not. 

Based on this, it can be safely concluded that music can have a positive effect on work. The productivity benefits will depend on the situation and the type of music played. 

It is also said that listening to music in between tasks can help improve one's productivity. You can also try to alternate between listening to music and then working in silence. 


Listening to music in between tasks can help improve one's productivity. / Photo by: Getty Images


How Music Can Help at Work

The effectiveness of music depends on the type of work that you are doing and how much concentration you need. If you are doing a repetitive task or answering emails, music can be instrumental. Listening to a piece of familiar music can also help you work better than unfamiliar music. It can improve one's mood, and you will not find the task to be a drag. However, if you are writing something, music can be more of a distraction for you. 

On the other hand, a noisy workplace can hinder one's productivity so music can be a big help in getting back your concentration. 

What Types of Music Are Effective?

Sounds of nature or nature music can help improve one's concentration. Sounds that can be soothing and calming at work include rainfall and flowing water. Bird sounds and animal noises can be distracting and not so pleasant to the ears. 

Classical music, such as Bach and Handel, can increase concentration and improve one's mood while working. A study has made it clear that Baroque-period music can have a significant effect on productivity. However, not all classical music can be as effective. 

Ambient music is slow instrumental music that is repetitive but soothing and gentle. This type of music can accommodate any level of listening but can also be ignored. Researchers have found out that moderate noise level can make one creative and that too much noise will have the opposite effect. 

Epic music can make you feel that you are doing something extraordinary. It gives you empowerment and lifts you up if you feel tired at work. By listening to this music, you can feel motivated. 

Video game music is designed to improve one's gaming experience. Listening to this type of music can help you become more productive. Composers of the games know how to create music in such a way that it is just in the background and not a distraction. 

There are also other music that you can listen to while you are working if you want to be able to improve your concentration and productivity. Different music types are meditation music, jazz, and blues. 

Types of Music That Will Not Help at Work

A noisy workplace can distract you from doing your tasks. Listening to music that has lyrics can have the same distracting effect. Below are the types of music that might not be helpful at work, so it is best not to play them.

Music with lyrics can distract your concentration. Instead of focusing on your work, you end up listening to the words of the song, thus interrupting your train of thought. If you are writing something, the lyrics might not help you work well. However, if you are working on something that does not include words, such as designing, then this music with lyrics can be beneficial. 

One's listening habits is also a factor whether music can be useful and make one become productive. If you are used to listening to music while working, it can be good for you. However, for someone who might not be used to having music in the course of doing their task, it may not have the same effect.

The degree of difficulty of a job is something to consider. If the task needs more focus, listening to music can make it harder to work. 

There is no one size fits all. Some music may work for you while some may not. Since every person has a different taste for music, don't hesitate to try various genres so that you will find out what type of music makes you feel productive. There is plenty of music collection online that you can listen to and change genre from time to time, depending on your mood. 



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