You won’t always get consensus among your small business employees, but one thing most will agree on — noisy colleagues are the number one productivity killer. When Ask.com polled over 2,000 office workers a few years ago, 61 percent cited loud office workers as the number one distraction. The growing popularity of open-space office environments, which were designed to foster collaboration, has only added to the noise problem.
Key to productivity may be music to your ears
As it turns out one antidote for a noisy work environment may be music. A study conducted some years ago involving 256 company employees found that performance improved considerably for the sample group listening to music through headphones. When headphones were taken away, performance went down and was similar to that of the control group.
Other research also attests to the power of music in boosting productivity. In “The Power of Music, Tapped in a Cubicle,” the New York Times notes that a study of IT specialists conducted by Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, an associate professor of Music Therapy at the University of Miami, found that participants who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas than those who didn’t, because the music improved their mood. Also Dr. Lesiuk found that giving participants a choice to listen to whatever music they wanted was important.
Ambient noise also aids productivity and creativity
Ambient noise can provide similar productivity gains for small business workers seeking to create a personal space in a noisy environment. In fact, ambient noise not only masks noisy coworkers, a moderate amount actually helps to boost creativity. A University of Illinois study subjected participants to different levels of ambient noise while they taking a creative thinking test. The results indicated that those exposed to a moderate amount of ambient noise – 70 decibels – outperformed those in the three other groups. The noise actually boosted their creative thinking. Fortunately, today there are a number of apps that provide ambient noise to recreate the sounds of rain, birds chirping, trains coming down the track, and even a bustling coffee shop to enable your team members to create their ideal environment in the office, at home or on the road working on a mobile device.
Choose the right headset
Whether your small business employees prefer music or ambient noise to tune out distracting office noise, Plantronics provides a range of noise-cancelling headset solutions to help them stay immersed in what matters and boost productivity. One of the newest offerings is the Voyager Focus UC Bluetooth headset. It enables your employees to move seamlessly between PC and smartphone calls and between work and entertainment. The new headset features on-demand Active Noise Canceling (ANC) so users can focus on calls or work and precision tuned triple-mic with enhanced DSP for superior background noise cancelling. Find out more about Plantronics solutions to help your small business team stay focused and get the job done.
What’s your go-to music genre to stay more productive? For me, smooth jazz gets me humming.