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The Office Playlist: How does music boost mood and productivity at work?



The office playlist can be a tricky topic. While some people prefer to listen to pop music while working, some enjoy indie or rock - and some would rather not listen to music at all. To discover what the music preferences are in the British workplace, we recently conducted a survey with TFL of 2,000 UK workers. We found that two-thirds (66%) of UK office workers think listening to music at work is a must have with the top three reasons stated as: mood improvement (35%); increased productivity (25%) and helping them to relax (24%).

Listening to music is known to be a great way to improve a person’s mood. There are also many reports revealing how music is often used within psychotherapy to help relieve anxiety and stress, so its no surprise that music within a workplace setting can have a huge impact on an employees’ mindset and productivity.

What genres of music are best to listen to at work?

When it comes to playing music, of course, everyone has their own preferences. But the genres we found were the most popular for boosting productivity, are:

Pop music reigns supreme, with the majority of industries, including office workers (48%), sales (47%), finance (45%), and operational (38%) choosing this as their preferred genre of music. 

How do British workers listen to music at work?

With different working spaces and internal processes coming with each job, there isn’t one set way to listen to music at work. The research found that the top three ways workers listen to music in the workplace are:

The office environment can play a big factor in how workers listen to music with those preferring to listen via their earphones perhaps more likely to work in an open-plan environment where they need to ‘zone-out’ and focus, similar to the spaces found in many serviced office and coworking spaces, where-as those in smaller offices are more likely to have communal music played out loud throughout the office.

Interestingly, when respondents were asked about the music they listen to outside of work, the preferred genres remained relatively similar to those most likely to improve productivity. With pop coming out at the top, this gives the impression that people believe listening to their favourite music can help boost their work rate.

The top five genres people listen to outside of work are:

Dance and classical music are the only genres that differed between the two, implying that the music we enjoy the most is the top choice to help increase productivity.

It’s clear from our research that people want to listen to music while at work and it has an incredibly positive impact on their working day.

In light of this research and the nation’s preferred genres, we have created the ultimate office playlist, which includes 107 songs to motivate employees, boost their mood and improve productivity in offices across the UK. With a mix of pop, rock, dance and country songs, it has all you need for a productive day in the office – or wherever your place of work may be! You can listen to our playlist here.


To read the full press release click here.