A recent blog on the Bloomberg Businessweek site detailed a UK study that was done dealing with music in the workplace and its effect on worker productivity. 77 percent of surveyed businesses said that it boosted morale and made output soar. The rest of the 33 percent probably own sweatshops.
Now I am a bad judge of whether or not music is an asset in the workplace for obvious reasons, but in my former life as a welding-parts office associate, we had no music to speak of and I yearned for it. When I worked at Domino's Pizza years ago I always had a radio or disc spinning in the shop, sometimes for better or worse. For some reason suburban teens in weren't into Arthur Brown and Miles Davis.
Of course I had to ask all you guys what you thought of tunes in the salt mines of corporate America. I was surprised and elated to find that many offices and other places that pay you money to be there allow music. Now if they could only make reading Rocks Off an hourly duty...
Of course it's all good in the hood when you can pick the music yourself or your coworkers have your same tastes.
"My own music at my desk -- good," says Cortney Martin. "Someone else's music over a speaker system -- annoying and distracting."
Muzak or something atrocious that you don't like, say show tunes or teen pop, can grate on your brain and make even the best job in the world more of a chore than it should be.
If you are in high school or under, it's a slice of freedom in a world away from the safe cocoon of your bedroom.
"My students think it makes things better, but I know it just distracts," says Adrian Sendejas, a local educator.
Kids can get into arguments over who the best member of One Direction or Slipknot is, or get so into singing along that they forget to stay on task. Of course, classical selections probably work best for school-agers. They will want to work harder so they can get away from poor ol' Chopin quicker.
Sometimes even the most seemingly boring tunes can be a lifeline in a job that sucks the marrow from your bones.
"If your office plays Sunny 99.1 through the entire office it's all you can do to stay sane," says Chris, a local comedian.
Imagine how people that work in doctor's offices survive on a steady diet of Simply Red, Kelly Clarkson and Michael Bolton. At least they have all those free drug samples to tide them over.
People with more physical jobs in warehouses and industrial enterprises sometimes look to music as secondary fuel, behind Red Bull and a gallon of coffee.
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"It makes me work much harder in the Best Buy warehouse," says Dane. You can find a spot in the music to disappear while you are lifting boxes or pulling orders which makes the shift go by faster."
What do you think about music in the workplace? All I know is that if here at the Rocks Off HQ my coworkers could hear what I listen to on a daily basis -- FOR RESEARCH -- I would be run out of town on a rail.