It seems that music might not only “soothe the savage beast,” it may help boost the productivity of your small business team. Research conducted by Dr. Teresa Lesiuk, associate professor of Music Therapy at the University of Miami, some years ago found that software developers who listened to music came up with better ideas and completed work faster than those who didn’t listen.  Dr. Lesiuk concluded….. “over time, music listening based on workers’ choice to listen when they want as they want is beneficial for state positive affect {mood}, quality-of-work, and time spent on a task.”

In other research conducted by MindLab International on behalf of MusicWorks,  26 participants took a series of online tasks five days in a row. Each day, they were either asked to listen to a playlist as background music (genres: dance, ambient, classical and pop) or not listen to music. The results showed 88% of the participants completed their most accurate tests when listening to music and 81% completed their tests the fastest when music was played.

Some music beats others for productivity gains

When it comes to listening to music to boost productivity, it may be that not all music fits the bill, however. Writing for Psychology Today in “Is Background Music a Boost or a Bummer,” Dr. Joanne Cantor who notes she has reviewed dozens of studies on the subject of music and productivity offers the following conclusions:

  • Music can improve productivity on repetitive tasks that are not inherently interesting. In these cases upbeat music has shown to improve efficiency and accuracy.
  • Upbeat music can enhance motivation before starting both cognitive and creative tasks. The upbeat music boosts your mood for tackling the task at hand. (Ditch the classical music for Uptown Funk.)
  • Relaxing, repetitive and low-information load background music can improve performance on some cognitive tasks.

On the other hand, Dr. Cantor points out that popular music, especially when it has lyrics, can interfere with reading comprehension and information processing because listening requires multitasking, which has been shown to undermine efficiency and productivity.

Tune out noise in the open office

Depending on the task at hand, the evidence seems to suggest that the right music can help bolster productivity. Furthermore, in today’s open-space work environment where noise from other colleagues is a top complaint (see: “Workplace noise can lead small business employees to distraction”), listening to preferred music may be the solution to escape the office din.

In that case, your team will want a noise-canceling headset to turn out background noise and not disturb colleagues with their tunes. Plantronics has a wide range of headsets for workers to choose from to listen to music in the office, on site at a customer location or even on the go, including the Voyager Focus UC with immersive stereo sound.  Also, the new Plantronics Voyager 5200 and Voyager 5200 UC feature WindSmart technology, an exclusive Plantronics innovation, which ensures extraordinary wind and noise reduction to ensure your team won’t miss a beat of their favorite music and remain productive at the same time.

Let the music roll at your small business to get toes and fingers tapping.