FutureFive NZ - Are NZ businesses banning music missing a beat?

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Are NZ businesses banning music missing a beat?

For New Zealander’s “Working 9-5, just to make a livin’”, research released today reveals that 19% of offices ban music from the workplace, despite three quarters (78%) of those forbidden believing it would reduce stress and anxiety and improve their mood.

The survey of office workers by music streaming service Spotify, shows that almost half of those prohibited agreed it would help them be more productive (49%) and creative (47%).

It also appears that there’s a direct correlation between no music and grumpiness. With nothing but the solitary soundtrack of the office photocopier to work to - 52% of soundless-staffers agreed that music would help them “block out annoying colleagues."

Conversely, for aurally-enhanced offices, almost half of respondents cited music as being either being “completely essential” (16%) to getting through their workday or “really useful for certain jobs or times of the day” (30%).

Those that listened to music at work divulged how they use music throughout the day declaring:

• 89.7% use music to boost their mood

• 86.4% reduce stress and anxiety with music

• 70% agree music helps them be more productive

• 59% use music to aid concentration and focus

• 56% believe music can foster creativity

Elizabeth Howells, Director of PeopleCentric, who specialises in Organisational Psychology and has vast experience in organisational development and performance management, was commissioned by Spotify to investigate how different types of music can be used to optimise the working day.

“With longer work hours and increasing day to day pressures, it’s no surprise that almost 90% of New Zealander office workers admit to using music to improve their mood," she says.

"Promoting music at work has the potential to benefit businesses – research suggests that listening to the right kind of music can help make the working environment a happier, less stressful and more productive environment.”

Existing research has indicated that people who regularly listen to music while they work perform better than people who usually work in silence.

Reflecting on some of the survey’s findings, Howells identified four areas where music can aid the average office worker:

1. Stress and anxiety relief

2. Happiness, motivation and energy

3. Concentration, focus and productivity

4. Inter-office relations and collaboration

Howells suggests different types of music work better for different people, different challenges, tasks and times of the working day - to read her recommendations, check out the October issue of Netguide.

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