To cite or reference this content, please use the following reference:
Haake, A. B. (2010). Music listening in offices: Balancing internal needs and external considerations (Doctoral thesis, University of Sheffield, Sheffield) accessed from www.musicatwork.net
Across all three studies, the findings present a varied picture.
Music could be distracting while working, but could also help to manage other distractions in the office environment.
Music could be relaxing when employees chose to listen, but annoying when imposed.
Even though music was subordinate to work activities, it was nevertheless important in many different situations, for many different reasons. Many of the participants in the research reported that music in the office was very important to them in order to manage the auditory office environment and its distractions, to manage mood and internal thought processes, to accompany tedious work tasks and to inspire them.
There were many contextual aspects that were taken into account when employees listened at work (e.g. other people present, potential impact on organisation, demands relating to the job role), and these aspects shaped and modified their listening patterns.
The findings contribute to knowledge in that they show the important and multidimensional roles that music can play for employees and in which situations, which highlight the need to consider the workplace as a part of peoples’ everyday lives.