Listening to music while working: good or bad idea?


You are used to listening to music while you are working, or on the contrary you prefer to be in a quiet place to be more focused. What is the right attitude to adopt to be the most efficient in your job? Can music really help to increase productivity?


Music and brain



We all have a different relationship with music, the way we perceive it is unique to everyone; and its effects, on our mood, our way of doing things, also differ. However, many studies have proven that listening to music generates an overall feeling of well-being. Music that we like will activate the reward circuits in our brain. They then produce dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of comfort. 


By feeling positive and happy, we are then able to be more focused, less stressed and therefore make more thoughtful decisions. Likewise, when we feel good, in a good mood, it is easier to learn new things and to stimulate our memory.


But beware, listening to music all day is not enough to become super-productive. Music helps, yes, but you have to know how and when to use it.


Music at work, how to do it ? 


Music can be very useful in some situations, and in others...much less so. You have to evaluate according to your activities and the level of concentration required.


In a context where we have to carry out rather repetitive, monotonous tasks, which require less reflection, music can become our real ally. It will be our boost that will make us more productive and avoid feeling too much tiredness. Think of it as a good espresso that will give you energy and motivation.


If you work in an environment where you have trouble staying focused, listening to music can help.  It will allow you to easily isolate yourself from the surrounding noise; hence increasing your productivity. This can be very useful when working in an open space for example.


If you need to use your creativity, it will be appreciated again. Music is known to be inspiring and motivating


However, music is not recommended when you have to make a real effort to concentrate. The simultaneous use of music and the cognitive functions of our brain (which allow us to communicate, read, write, etc.), is counterproductive. Similarly, if one has to do a job that requires thinking and analysis, it is better to leave the music for later.


The important thing is to listen to ourselves and understand when music could be beneficial to us.


Which music to listen to ?


It goes without saying that listening to music that we like will always have a more positive impact on our mood. However, not all types of music are recommended for work. An instrumental music would be preferable because lyrics could distract us and lose our attention. Also, listening to new music while working attracts more curiosity towards it and generates a decrease in attention; it is therefore preferable to opt for a playlist of songs you already know.


Over the entire day, listening only to music that is too energetic is not the best idea either, because in the long run it will tire you out and diminish your attention. It is best to opt for this type of music from time to time during the day to give yourself a boost.


Finding the music that will have a positive impact on our work is the key! So what can you put in your earphones? Classical music, pop music, ambient music, instrumental, electro... you choose!