The power of music: Increase your concentration and productivity

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to working. While some enjoy the absolute silence and privacy of the home office, others prefer the lively office or listen to music on the side. It is clear that the preferences and effects of music vary from person to person, but what does science have to say about it? In fact, many studies refute the positive effects of music at work - but also emphasise that not all types of music are equally good.


List of content:

  1. No-go's when choosing music!
  2. What music you should listen to
  3. Unleash your potential!
  4. Conclusion: Music on or off?

1. No-go's when choosing music!

As a general rule, instrumental music or ambient sounds can improve concentration the most. When choosing your work music, you should therefore pay attention to a few aspects:

  • Choose songs that have no emotional relevance for you.
    Songs that you like or dislike are unsuitable because they generate emotions that distract you.

  • Do not choose music that is too exotic.
    Unfamiliar songs are not necessarily recommended either, as the strange sounds and melodies attract your attention.

  • Words are distracting!
    According to the results of a study by Cambridge Sound Management, understandable words are the main distraction. When listening to songs with understandable lyrics, we automatically listen more carefully because we want to know what is being said. (By the way, the same applies to shared offices where there is a lot of talking or telephoning. Employees who work silently are strongly distracted by the conversations of others and can only concentrate to a limited extent).

2. What music you should listen to

Sounds from nature and the environment are particularly popular and effective. For example, the gentle murmur of a brook, the crackling of a fire or the splashing of raindrops are well suited. This gentle music can enhance the mood, the ability to concentrate and the general satisfaction when working. 
In connection with learning or concentration, we often speak of white or brown noise. These are constant tones in a certain frequency range that also have a relaxing and focusing effect. 
To add some variety to daily music listening, there are numerous noise generators and ambient music available on YouTube. They imitate natural soundscapes such as the soft murmuring in a café.
Regardless of which of the suggestions appeals to you most, you should also pay attention to the tempo of a song. Studies show that tempo affects mood and performance differently. Classical music, for example, is said to have a calming effect on the mind and body.

3. Unleash your potential!

Below are some ways that music can help concentration:

  • Reduce distractions.
    Listening to quiet music can help block out background noise and distractions, creating an environment conducive to concentration - especially in noisy or busy environments.

  • Stimulating the brain.
    Music has the ability to activate and stimulate different areas of the brain, which can have a positive effect on attention, concentration and memory.

  • Improving mood and motivation.
    Listening to music can lift mood and increase motivation. In this sense, music is also well suited for breaks - although here, of course, more atmospheric and emotionally charged music may be used.

  • Create a consistent auditory environment.
    For some people, a consistent and predictable auditory environment can help them enter a state of flow and concentration.

  • Greater effectiveness.
    For monotonous, repetitive pursuits like checking email or filling out a spreadsheet, music can help you be more effective. As a general rule, however, the more concentration needed to complete a task, the less distraction should prevail. 

4. Conclusion: Music on or off?

Let's keep in mind: the effects of music on work have been scientifically proven. Quiet, textless melodies or ambient sounds are particularly effective. However, there are also individual preferences and the nature of the task. Some people find that silence or a quiet environment works best for them when they need to concentrate intensely. Ultimately, however, the effect of music on concentration is a personal experience and everyone should find out for themselves what works best for them.

To make your employees' work experience as positive as possible, you should provide high-quality headphones, enable hybrid working models and introduce desk-sharing software! 
With desk.ly, employees can decide on a daily basis what they need to have a good day at work, depending on their preferences and need for concentration.
If you would like to learn more, please contact us!

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