How Does Listening to Music While Working Impact Productivity?

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Many people listen to music while completing tasks for work. However, the debate over whether listening to music while working is productive or not has been long ongoing-some say that music helps them focus and block out surrounding noise, while others claim music is nothing but a distraction. So, what do researchers have to say about it?

Music does impact your ability to complete other tasks by activating the cerebellum in your brain. When the music activates this part of your brain it can influence your emotions. Because of this, listening can impact your work in both positive and negative ways depending on how you perceive the genre or song. Since this aspect is specific to individual people, many people suggest listening to ambient music with no lyrics. However, there are some trends when it comes to how music affects the productivity of certain tasks. 

Music has a positive effect when it comes to completing repetitive tasks. These tasks become second nature and require little thought when being performed. Listening to your favorite songs can improve your mood, which leads to an increase in the energy and enthusiasm from which you approach the task. The increased energy causes you to feel more confident in your work and get tasks done quicker. You can improve your focus further by listening to familiar songs-this works because your brain will not be tracking new patterns within the songs.

Although a useful tool for doing repetitive or daily tasks, music can have a negative impact on memorization and reading comprehension. Memorization generally does not occur because multiple areas of the brain become activated at the same time, making your brain focus on the words and sounds of the music instead of devoting its full attention to the information you are studying. Listening to music you do not like can also cause you to become frustrated and distracted, which is why workplaces should generally avoid playing loud music throughout the entire office. 

These are useful tips for deciding whether or not to play music inside of an office space, but ultimately, how little or much a person’s work will be affected will be unique for every individual. Let us know how music affects you and your office!