Does Listening to Music Increase Productivity?

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Does Listening to Music Increase Productivity?

Neuroscientists have studied the effects of music on the brain, and found that music releases  neurotransmitters that reduce stress. While some music can be distracting, music provides many benefits for improving the workplace and productivity. By how much does music increase productivity and in what ways is researched often.


Growing Research

A growing number of studies demonstrate that music can also improve physical performance, cognitive performance, as well as productivity. Sports psychologist Costas Karageorghis, performed a study on men and women. In her study she found that while they responded to music differently,  both benefited from listening to music.  Performance and cognitive tasks improved by listening to music. Upbeat music improves processing speed and memory  in older adults. Similarly, another study of the psychology of music found that listening to your favorite music can improve performance versus listening to music you’re not so fond of. A University of Miami study of four software companies came to a conclusion. Tasks were completed more quickly and better ideas developed from people who listened to music while working. Who doesn’t want to have better ideas and get their work done more quickly!?! Researchers found that performance of repetitive or boring work improved with  background music. Listening to upbeat music helps workers stay alert and motivated. Although loud music can be distracting, it might be a good idea to turn up the volume while working out. This can boost performance. So what do you think, does music increase productivity?

Types of Music

As a general rule, complex music (like avant-garde, jazz, and fusion) is more distracting. Neuroscientists found that listening to unfamiliar music is distracting as well. Regions of our brain that improve concentration are more active when we listen to familiar music. However, listening to music with lyrics can decrease focus. Emotions and memories can trigger if you are listening to an old favorite. So while you want to avoid music that evokes nostalgia, familiar music generally improves focus. ScienceDaily reported a study that showed listening to classical baroque music increased the concentration of the radiologists that participated in the study. An excellent article published by Futurism reported a study. Listening to music will not effect productivity if the person is already an expert in their work.  A person who is moderately good at what they were doing saw productivity increase significantly. For a novice music didn’t help productivity. However, in all cases music improved their mood.

The Bottom Line

Furthermore, it appears that neuropsychologists are just beginning to scratch the surface. They continue to research the relationship between work productivity and music. What is beginning to emerge is the understanding that the benefits of listening to music at work depend upon;


(1) the type of work performed

(2) the level of expertise of the worker

(3) the type of music listened to

computer user and music increase productivity

However, we’re not yet seeing a general rule. Therefore, considerable thought and experiment is required to get it right. These studies provide us with a framework to discover what works best. We expect that as more studies emerge, there will be new discoveries concerning the benefits of music. Until then, the conclusions of the aforementioned studies will help each person discover what works best for them. Enjoy!

music device increase productivity

To conclude, music is another important avenue to help you ignite your potential. Do you want to learn more ways for music to increase productivity at work and in your personal life? We offer complimentary 25-minute phone sessions. Reach out to one of our expert coaches to schedule your free phone session. We are voted the best career coach in San Francisco and best career coach in Los Angeles.