It's 8.30 a.m. and the arguments in the office have started.
What are we going to listen to on the radio today?
Our office is loosely split into two camps. Those members of the team who like listening to Radio 1 or Kiss or something equally 'upbeat', and those of us who prefer Absolute Radio or Radio X. I'll leave it to you to decide which bracket I fall in but I'll take Radiohead over Sean Paul any day of the week. No contest.
Anyway, I digress. The frankly fantastic infographic below shows the many benefits of listening to music in the office, including how this actually makes us more efficient and productive rather than less so, due the stimulating effect music has upon our brains. There are even recommendations about what kind of music we should be listening to in order to enable better concentration for certain kinds of tasks.
I've worked in other businesses where listening to music was strictly frowned upon, thought to be nothing more than a distraction. I beg to differ on this. I think it adds a great dynamic to the office environment - there can be nothing worse than when there's a quiet period in the office and all you can hear is the tapping of keyboards. And should you need to make a call in the middle of such silence, you are very aware of the sound of your own voice!
Don't get me wrong, anyone we're speaking to on the phone shouldn't be able to hear music absolutely blaring in the background and we make a point of turning it right down when we have visitors in the office. Occasionally you notice people tapping their feet, nodding their heads or singing along to it quietly. It helps create and enhance a pleasant working environment/atmosphere in the workplace and with the infographic backing up the theory that it makes us better at work, less distracted rather than more - what's not to like?
I do however thank God that there are no keen whistlers in the office. That may be a musical step too far...
Few workplace issues divide opinion quite so much as listening to music in the office. Back in the days before noise-cancelling headphones, normally laid back copywriters could threaten to turn into psychopaths if somebody turned the radio on. Art directors and designers would start emitting steam from their ears if anybody had the temerity to turn that same radio off. Even today, there are those who tut disapprovingly at anybody sat with their headphones in, moving to an invisible rhythm as they type. Can these people really be working as hard as they should be?