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Office Music
Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've never been able to productively work with the radio on. I can work with the TV on, but never with music around me. I do all right when listening to music with my headphones on, but it has to be the music of my choosing.

I remember doing some contract work, a few years back, for a large organization here in Canada; during the day the local classical rock station was on all day long. I could never concentrate. In time the music is to become white noise, but my brain just couldn't filter it.

Depending on the effect required, there are benefits to having ambiance music playing. For example, if you want those skateboarders out of your stores, play classical music and they will be gone in no time. I'm guessing your tolerance for Mozart, Bach, or Beethoven is linearly correlated with your age: the younger you are, the less you like classical music.

As per music in the work place, I wish someone like Hawthorne et al. would have got around to testing if music could make you more productive in an office setting. I'm sure there are studies, which I don't want to dig out, about this horrible music playing all day. I find the whole experience of someone choosing the music I hear a torture tactic. Now imagine being forced to listen to 80s rock all day long. (Well, not forced, as I was there by choice--but you know what I mean: once in the building, the music is just there...playing...and playing...).

Music can calm you down or can make you dance; nevertheless, music should be an option to your workers and not a corporate mandate. Note that I don't mean to remove music form the ultra-hip stores of our times (A&F, Starbucks, etc.); these stores' image are based on what music is playing in the background or how strong the perfume the "fungeneers" are wearing. I get that and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm talking about the data processing centers with cubicles, amber or green colored computer screens, and countless of printers around. Do they (or did they) need soft-rock playing out corporate speakers mounted to the ceiling? I know I neither needed it nor liked it.

In case you like classical music, you can find a few free broadcast stations on the web--just make sure you you have headphones around: not everyone likes it.

8:37 PM | 1 comment(s) |


Hear hear! I'm all for listening to music during working, but when I want silence - I want silence!

At my new job the dev. manager who sits 2-3 meters away loves his speakers, he also loves his industrial rock - now I love NIN as much as anyone, but not all the time.

Somehow he never got the hint after I purchased new Sennheisers 3 days into the job.
By Blogger talios, at 4:26 AM

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