Top 10 reasons for listening to music in the office

Why do people listen to music in the office? Here are the top 10 reasons, according to academic research:

  1. Relaxation: “calms me down”, “eases stress”, “soothing”
  2. Concentration: “improves my ability to focus on what I am working on”
  3. Affect management: “helps me to remain positive”
  4. Block out distractions: “helps me concentrate, especially when someone else is in the office, or talking on the phone, or having a meeting in my office”
  5. Create variation: “I couldn’t work without it. It would just be a nightmare. Too tedious a job, inputting all day.”
  6. Helps to think about something else: “If music was not my distraction, then something else would be, i.e. something unproductive such as fiddling with papers or gazing out of the window”
  7. For entertainment: “It keeps me company when there isn’t anyone else around”
  8. Because they enjoy it: “I feel more comfortable, it makes things more enjoyable, therefore I feel better about doing it, I guess. I suppose, in a nutshell, I just like it.”
  9. Makes time go quicker: “it just helps the day to go on. It would be a long day without it.”
  10. Lifts energy: “I feel a physical feeling of almost elation.”

Source: Haake, A.B. (2011) Individual music listening in workplace settings: an exploratory survey of offices in the UK. Musicae Scientiae, 15 (1)

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