Music in the office is often controversial. For some people peace and quiet is the biggest boost to productivity, whilst others find music helps them to focus on the task at hand. Without music an office environment can seem almost too quiet to some, so what are the options when it comes to bringing musical accompaniment to your office?
An easy option is to switch on the radio, the drawback being that the talk element can be distracting in an office setting. One employer we spoke to banned radio in the office as he found it unprofessional and made the office sound like a garage!
What to expect… arguments about the choice of station and criticism of repetitive playlists.
2. Office playlists
Office playlists have the benefit of allowing all staff to submit their choices. Of course this doesn’t mean that what is submitted is always going to be suitable for an office setting! Make sure your employees are aware of what acceptable music for the office is. When in doubt a good rule of thumb is to think about whether you would feel comfortable welcoming a client to the office when the music is playing.
What to expect… an eclectic selection of music that ruffles a few feathers.
Headphones are a great option for offices where there is a mix of opinions on music. Those who find a quiet office frustrating can create their own personal playlists, and those who find a noisy office unbearable can find solace in noise cancelling technology. The downside? Those listening to music on headphones can irritate their co-workers if the volume is too high, and using headphones to block out noise can also serve to isolate employees from the rest of the team.
What to expect… to check on whether your employees are still communicating and collaborating effectively.
4. Music times
They say the essence of all happy relationships is compromise and designating music hours is just that. In this option music is only allowed at certain times, for instance you could decide that mornings are music free zones whilst afternoons are more upbeat.
What to expect… objections from those who don’t want to compromise.
Every company will have a different approach and culture when it comes to music in the office. Which option you go with is down to you, the important thing is to have a clear policy in place, here at Easy Offices we recommend the following:
- Keep the volume low
- Turn down the volume for client calls
- Keep headphone volume at a sensible level