Words: Brooke Smith

Artwork: Robert Longo, Men In The Cities

I’m sure we all know that colleague that can’t function in a completely silent workplace. Well, truth is, they may be onto something. There are actually many benefits to listening to music in the workplace. It has been proven that music can actually improve your mood, reduce stress, and increase your productivity levels.

Walking on Sunshine

Think about it. Have you ever turned on the radio and your favorite song was on? I bet your mood instantly improved and you started to sing along to your favorite tune. This is because when you listen to music that you enjoy ,dopamine is released in your brain and that chemical makes you happy. The same is true if you put music on while you are sitting at your desk trying to get through a long research project just given to you by your boss. Although you want to be careful not to become distracted by the music, having it on to improve your mood will absolutely improve your work. With an improved mood, chances are you will get through your work more efficiently and with better results.

Now, keep in mind that the opposite can also be true with music. If there is music blaring in your office that you do not like, dopamine will not be released in your brain and you will actually become more irritated. So, with that being said, be mindful of those around you in case they aren’t into your music tastes. Headphones for everyone are definitely the way to go!

Under Pressure

This connects closely with the improved mood because obviously when dopamine is released in the brain and you are happy, this naturally lowers your stress levels. It has been proven that chronic stress can actually lower your natural dopamine production. So adding music into your work day could be a key way for you to add some of that dopamine back into your brain to boost your mood and lower those chronic stress levels. Typically, softer more classical music is great for calming and relaxation, but be sure to be true to yourself when making your music selection so it is something you enjoy.

Takin’ Care of Business

You probably aren’t surprised that with a better mood and lowered stress levels, your productivity will sore. When you are listening to music, part of your frontal cortex is activated, and the frontal cortex of your brain is responsible for your higher cognitive functions, such as problem solving. Therefore, with the frontal cortex of your brain activated, your in a more efficient state to problem solve and be productive with your tasks at hand at work. 

All in all, music can absolutely be a positive influence in your workspace. Just remember to choose songs that you like so that more dopamine is released in the brain, and be respectful of your colleagues around you that may have different music tastes. You wouldn’t want to be the cause of agitation on their end! Also, feel free to experiment with this. For you, certain genres of music might be distracting while others really get you in the zone. Once you figure out the music that gets you in your zone, build yourself a Work playlist and jam through all of your projects! You will enjoy it and your boss will be grateful for the positive attitude and efficiency!