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Listening to music in the office or working environment can have many benefits to productivity, motivation and general daily enjoyment. Whether it’s being played out loud for all to hear or through your own earphones, music has the power to project all types of moods. With the urbanisation of offices around the world, you don’t need to look very far before you hear a radio or shared playlist, creating a more relaxed, homely atmosphere.

Let’s take a look at how music affects employees specifically in an office environment and the benefits this can have.

Earphones from aci

Benefits Of Music At Work

Listening to music whether that’s alone or as a team can have a variety of benefits on not just your productivity but your general well-being also. Many offices or other industry spaces allow staff to listen privately or socially, whether that be on the radio or mobile phones to offer freedom, privacy or a level of concentration. Here are just a few of the benefits that music at work can offer.

Focus and productivity

Having music playing will keep you away from distractions, blocking out conversations, machinery noise or outside activity that is going on around you. Whilst some people thrive in complete silence, others might prefer to have a background noise playing or be in their own space. Listening to music can also be a good sign of employees suggesting they are concentrating and don’t want distractions instead of having to bring it up in conversation.

Improves memory

It’s a proven fact that music has the power to stimulate the hippocampus region of the brain which is always a bonus when working.

Reduces stress and anxiety

Many people use music as a stress release or a way to escape their anxieties. Allowing staff to express themselves in the way they know how, can boost workplace well-being, reduce anxiety levels and create an enjoyable, open space.

For more tips and strategies on how to improve employee well-being, we have a number of blogs for workplaces, employers and corporations to take on board.

Increases motivation

When employees have exciting music to listen to, they naturally become more excited about coming to the office as it’s considered a fun-filled place to be. Employees will also see this as an aspect of freedom at work and will enjoy their daily tasks.

Team bonding

Music is a great conversation starter and can be an easy way to form friendships at work. Many people both inside an office and outside on office will spark conversations surrounding music and this is a great way to form relationships or build team bonding games around.


For those who may be more easily distracted while working, music provides a great barrier to the outside world in order to focus. Individuals with ADHD can benefit from a variety of musical genres to help them in different ways. For example, instrumental music with no lyrics is great for reducing distractions, smooth jazz can be great for relaxation and lofi is excellent for productivity. Check out this blog article by Brili on discovering music that helps you focus and manage certain ADHD symptoms for playlist recommendations. Studies have shown that music can help to reduce anxiety and stress as well, so it is a great thing to consider folding into your daily routines.

Fath 3ngcth0cfjg unsplash from aci

Negatives Of Music At Work

Although there are many positives when it comes to this topic, it is also important to consider the fact, not everyone can learn and work in the same way. Whilst noise and music can help some to be productive, they can in fact be a huge distraction for others.


  • A lot of people, especially in an office environment, find music to be distracting. They much prefer to work in silence and concentrate fully on their work.

Personal preference

  • If music is played out loud, it can be difficult to make sure everyone is happy. With all the music genres out there, it’s very unlikely everyone in your team listens to the same artists.

Effect work quality

  • If you get to fixated on the noises around you, this can come across in your work. Whether that’s the quality or quantity, it’s quite easy to forget where you are.

Limits communication

  • Mostly relevant if you have earphones in, listening to your own music all day means you rarely communicate with those around you. Although it’s good if you’re looking to knuckle down, it’s also really easy to isolate yourself without even realising it.
Office from aci

Headphones At Work: Should employees be using headphones in the office?

As discussed before, music can come with both advantages and disadvantages. When talking about headphones specifically, this is something for which a lot of employers tend to set boundaries. Whilst some offices offer complete flexibility with how their employees work and when they listen to their music, other offices might have certain music times or a complete ban.

The positives of using headphones at work

The choice is yours

  • If music isn’t played throughout the whole office and is instead a personal decision, this means everyone can work in a way which suits them.

Helps to meet deadlines

  • If you have a lot of work to do or specific deadlines to meet, having your headphones in not only tells others that you’re not available for a chat but also keeps your mind on track and less distracted by what’s going on around you.

Everyone has bad days

  • Although it’s not recommended to bring your issues to work, sometimes someone is simply having a bad day. This might reflect on your mood and you might be after some personal space.

The move back into the office

  • With a lot of people now coming back into the office after working from home, they’re used to having home comforts around them. Listening to your own music can help with this transaction.
Wfh from aci

The negatives

Using headphones at work could easily give off an unapproachable vibe to those around you. If someone notices you constantly have your earphones in, they might take this as you don’t want to talk and create a bad image in their head. This can also lead to limited team bonding as you are restricting conversation and secluding yourself from what’s happening around you. Leading on from being unapproachable to sitting with your earphones all day is bound to stop any team bonding. Communication in the workplace will become limited and you may find yourself being secluded from the team. The final drawback of using headphones in an office is that listening to music all day every day is going to have some type of long-term effect on your ears. Having broken or keeping your music low can help to reduce the risks.

Office refurbishment UK

Many different components go into crafting your perfect office space and the environment you want to create can play a large part in the overall layout and facilities needed.

ACI is based in Nottingham, and we cover the whole of the UK including areas such as DerbyBirmingham, Leicester and Manchester.
We’ve designed and transformed a wide range of office design solutions for our clients across a variety of industries. Our work is tailored to each client, so whether you know exactly what you want or need some help with the initial ideas, our teams are here to help you every step of the way!

Give us a call on 0115 939 7572 or email us with your project enquiry and we’ll be in touch.