Five Things You Need To Know About Playing Music in Your Office

in Business

Music has the power to influence our moods, productivity and overall well-being. But in the context of the workplace, does it help or hinder our performance?

Before you decide whether to play music through the office speakers, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. In this post, QCF, experts in UK corporate governance, discuss the various aspects of playing music in the workplace, including its impact on productivity and the compliance issues that need to be addressed as a UK business.

Let’s dive straight in.

1. Improving productivity

Endless studies have linked music to having positive effects on productivity levels. One such study, conducted by Mindlab International, found that 88% of people believe music helps them perform better at work and contributes to more accurate results on their tasks and assignments.

While studies elsewhere suggest that for nine out of ten workers music can enhance performance and stimulate engagement. That same research indicates that playing background music in the office can boost mood and help alleviate feelings of stress or anxiety.

The statistics seemingly speak for themselves. Well-chosen music can create an atmosphere conducive to productivity, making it easier for employees to engage in tasks requiring cognitive effort.

2. Noise levels and distractions

Despite the many studies in favour of music in the workplace and its links to productivity, there is an opposing argument.

No two people are the same, and what may be motivational to one employee, could be a distraction to another. As an employer, it’s essential to strike a balance between fostering an inspirational environment and avoiding excess noise.

Keeping music to a low volume is one option, but you may also want to consider promoting the use of headphones. This allows individuals who prefer working with music to do so without subjecting their colleagues to any unwanted noise.

With that said, not all workplaces will be suited to the use of headphones. It’s important to recognise that they could lead to employee isolation and hinder collaborative efforts. For example, team members may risk missing out on valuable conversations where their input could prove crucial.

On the flip side, integrating periods of solitude into the workday, in conjunction with collaborative sessions, may enhance productivity. Employees can benefit from having intervals of undisturbed concentration on individual tasks, forming a healthy balance of independent work and collaboration.

Alternatively, some studies report that background music is more beneficial to productivity and less distracting when it doesn’t feature lyrics, which leads us on to the next point.

3. Choosing the right musical genre

The key to successfully integrating music into the office is tailoring our song choices to the type of work being completed, according to some research. Classical music has been said to improve accuracy, while more upbeat genres such as dance or pop can speed up tasks like data entry or proofreading.

As mentioned, instrumental or ambient tracks without lyrics can be less distracting for some workers, especially when it comes to retaining new information or completing tasks that involve linguistic processing.

Adapting genres to people’s tastes and assignments can help build a musical atmosphere that works for everyone.

4. Employee morale

Asides from music’s evident influence on productivity, the right music can also have a profound impact on staff morale. In fact, it’s scientifically proven.

Music increases the brain’s dopamine levels meaning hearing it in the office can lift spirits and help work feel more enjoyable.

Not only this but giving employees a say in what’s played or curating a team playlist can create an excellent talking point amongst colleagues contributing to a more inclusive work environment.

5. Compliance with licencing laws

Perhaps one of the most vital aspects you’ll need to consider as a business is ensuring your compliance with UK copyright and licencing regulations.

Whether you’re streaming from Spotify, listening to the radio, or even featuring music in your on-hold telephone system, you will usually be required to have a music licence.

The licence you will need to obtain is called ‘TheMusicLicence’ from PPL PRS Ltd. This licence will allow you to legally play music for employees and customers through the radio, TV or any other digital devices. You can request a quote or pay online from as little as 33p a day. Failure to comply could result in a hefty fine or even legal action, so it’s important to arrange the correct licencing before making music a part of your office backdrop.

Final thoughts

So, there you have it. Music can undoubtably promote a positive workplace culture, improving performance, decreasing clock watching and even enhancing employee satisfaction. However, it’s crucial to remember that music is subjective and everyone’s tastes and working styles will vary.

As such, you should try and reach a harmonious balance by communicating with your team to discover their preference when it comes to musical genres and working habits.

Taking into consideration every team member’s perspective will help you foster an environment that facilitates productivity and collaboration.

For more business insights and guidance, visit Quality Company Formations.

Image Credits: Laura Rivera

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